The Profession of Perfectionism

As beautiful but unachievable as the word “Perfection” sounds, the meaning behind the word “perfection-ism” is quite the opposite. Perfectionism starts because of low self-esteem and leads to even lower self-esteem. As I am writing this article, perfectionism is trying to trap me and halt my productiveness, it’s telling me that I shouldn’t write this article if I can’t write it with uttermost perfection in this world. Perfectionism is like unconditional love, we spend our whole lives chasing it, while the ‘intellectuals’ of this world try to figure out if it even exists or not.

Have you seen those paper balls lying around an author’s desk in movies or in real life? Well, they would define perfectionism better than some mere words. But here is the real definition. Perfectionism is often defined as the need to be or appear to be perfect, or even to believe that it’s possible to achieve perfection.

It is not a mental disorder, however, it can be considered as a mental condition. To get a better insight on this, we need to know about the 3 ‘P’s- Perfectionism, proficiency and procrastination. Basically, perfectionism can lead to either proficiency OR procrastination. In simple words, proficiency is- expertise or improvement and procrastination is- what you have done your whole 11th grade. And sadly, perfectionism has a better chance of putting you into that loop of procrastination than increasing your proficiency.

“Perfectionism in itself is imperfection”

What makes you a perfectionist? -Unrealistic Expectations. Unrealistic can be parental or through your peers. But how can you identify that you, in fact, are one? Let’s take a walk on this.

The loop of perfectionism
  1. You focus on the results more than the process- If you are not a big fan of making your journey at beautiful as your destiny, you might fit into this category.
  2. You are always afraid of not being enough- Constantly having a feeling that you can never be a 100% in your life can get you into the feedback loop from hell which can effect your self esteem to extents.
  3. You are too afraid of failure- Again, perfectionists get that fear of failure inside their head even before getting started with the assigned task.
  4. All or nothing- You have a thought process that you shouldn’t do that work at all if you can execute it with ultimate perfection which leads to procrastination.
  5. You can’t even take constructive criticism- You see criticism regarding your performance as a degradation to your personality and not as a stepping stone towards improvement.
  1. Start your day with a fresh mind- Morning meditation can help you in diving deep into your conscience and getting to know it. It also gives a productive start to your day.
  2. Follow the loop of productiveness- According to this, one completed task gives us the motivation to start with another task on our list. You need to follow this and alarm yourself if you feel that your chain is breaking.
  3. Stop overthinking- Whenever you feel like you are blaming yourself a little too much for something, think about something which is going to destress you. For me, it is dogs and music, likewise, you will have to do some self analysis to find your contentment.
  4. Don’t push yourself for every small mistake you commit.
  5. Go to therapy- No, I don’t mean listen to Taylor swift songs duh! I am insisting on really going to therapy for this.
  6. Take out time for yourself- Everyone has that one thing they’d do if nobody would be there to judge them. JUST DO THAT THING, without the pressure of being perfect at it.
  7. Remember that you don’t have to be productive all the time- In my case, I used to procrastinate the whole day and feel guilty about it at the end of the day and procrastinate even further. SO PLEASE START NOW if you haven’t already.

Just remember that you aren’t the only one who finds themselves stuck in this loop everyday. You just need to be reminded that you can’t get out of any loop until you change your direction.

Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.