My son Jackson is 13. Last year he started high school and was going home doing homework every night, sometimes up to 3 hours a night. Without even being asked to do so (I know right?!). Half way through the year he started getting sick too often and was super tired. You’d be joining the dots like me by this stage. When we talked about why he was working so hard he admitted he wanted to excel, to do as best as he could, to be be perfect. Awesome! I love that determination but…. It was to the detriment of his health. Long story short he agreed he was peaking too early. VCE was 6 years away so he slowed down and guess what? He is happier, less tired and still doing well.
We all know someone who is committed to making or doing things perfectly right?! Or it might even be us.
Perfectionism is not about being perfect, but striving for it. It may not involve all elements of life but it will influence several aspects, be it work, sport, relationships or study. Perfectionism has a few dimensions. It includes;
- the relentless pursuit of extremely high standards, for yourself and others
- judging your self-worth based largely on your ability to achieve the high standards you have set yourself
- experiencing the negative consequences of setting such demanding standards, yet continuing to go for it despite the personal costs.
Comparing yourself, or those around you, can become the norm for perfectionists. There may be an element of ranking, which is the when a person draws unnecessary comparisons between individuals or groups for the purpose of raising their own self-esteem or lowering someone else’s.
Ultimately, perfectionism is an unattainable goal that can end up being a noose around a person’s sense of self, their happiness and their satisfaction in relationships.
The phrase ‘comparison is the thief of joy’ is well known for a reason. It’s true!
To learn more about this unhelpful thinking pattern that they affect how you make decisions, build relationships and have conversations download my ‘Board of Directors’ white paper or get yourself a copy of Fixing Feedback.