Photo Credit: today.com
For quite some time, I've been doing 'Wednesday Wisdom' posts on social media. I did a recent post on perfectionism, and I want to expand upon what I talked about in it. My intention is to create awareness around the subject and to encourage people to develop systems to protect themselves both mentally and emotionally.
Self-oriented or toxic perfectionism is imposing an unrealistic desire to be perfect on oneself. Almost 300 research studies have found that high levels of perfectionism were correlated with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, deliberate self-harm and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Even mild cases can interfere with your quality of life by negatively affecting your personal relationships, education, work and more. Some common traits of a perfectionist include: all-or-nothing thinking, being highly critical of oneself or others, being pushed by fear, having unrealistic standards, being highly results focused, experiencing depression, fear of failure, procrastination, defensiveness and/or low self esteem. Perfectionists usually do not possess all of these characteristics, but many of them in conjunction with one another.
Living with perfectionism my entire life has not been easy. I've struggled with body image issues, self defeating thoughts & behaviors, negative self efficacy/self image and unrealistic expectations most of my life, just to name a few. The internal voice of being a perfectionist is hard to live with, and frankly can be exhausting. For anyone else struggling with perfectionism, there have been a lot of ways that I've worked to overcome toxic perfectionism, but here are 10 tips that have worked for me:
For me, it is all about honor. Honoring my physical and mental health, as well as honoring my time, commitments, priorities and boundaries. Most importantly, give yourself the grace to grow. Change and evolution does not happen overnight. I've been intentionally working on various components of overcoming self-induced, toxic perfectionism for over 15 years. Give yourself time, but please be intentional about it because it is one of the most important things that you can do.
Brandon & Amanda