Are you a perfectionist? Sometimes considered a “badge of honor,” perfectionism can lead to problems. Some Indiana University campuses includes this topic in freshman health classes since it has been found to inhibit learning. There is also a connection between perfectionism and eating disorders. My colleague, Kay Stroud, from Australia, has written an interesting article for the November 18, 2014 edition of The Northern Star, on this topic. If you’re feeling deep down as if you’ll never be good enough, her message and the shared healing of an eating disorder will inspire you. Here’s Kay:
Four ‘trick or treaters’ knocked on our door on Halloween evening. Somewhat unprepared and surprised to experience this novelty in Australia I managed to locate a few sweet treats for each of them, and they left happily bubbling with excitement.
Was I frightened of their costumes or weird masks? Of course not. And I’m sure they didn’t believe for a moment that they’d suddenly morphed into ugly, wicked or ghoulish creatures, either.
Sometimes, though, people do put on an emotionally draining mask as they strive to feel accepted and loved.
For instance, they may act out the role where they have to be the best … at everything. They can’t abide mistakes and feel it’s a badge of honour to say they’re a perfectionist. Ever in fear of failing, they may be chronic procrastinators. They don’t like themselves very much either, because they rarely live up to their own expectations.
They may be caught up in a warped view of the world that is commonly known as perfectionism.
Like many psychologists, Thomas S Greenspon believes that perfectionism is more than pushing yourself to do your best to achieve a goal; it’s a reflection of an inner self mired in anxiety, where you constantly feel like an imposter. “Perfectionist people typically believe that they can never be good enough, that mistakes are signs of personal flaws, and that the only route to acceptability as a person is to be perfect,” he said.