You wrap around my mind like a thick blanket. What appears as a supportive, motivational hug, transcends to an evil lock; you never let me win. You – perfectionism, don’t believe in an end.
It’s a mental health epidemic. Millennial’s across the globe, are suffering the highest levels of perfectionism – a condition that is linked to depression, anxiety and eating disorders. That’s according to CBS News . The obvious answer is to blame social-media.
But I believe that’s too easy.
Does my body like my mind, or does it not stand a chance against something so critical?
I have known since childhood, that something wasn’t right. I always related to Monroe when she said “I was never used to being happy”.
Although I grew up well, bubbles brewed in my mind – something is missing. I wished that I could be an adult and not go to school.
I just knew that I was never content. Maybe because I was aware that I was not the brightest in class or the most popular. And somewhere between trying to improve myself, I managed to not stop.
Symptoms and causes
My biggest symptom is procrastination. Waiting for a perfect moment. I try to convince myself that I have improved and got better. But just because I have made progress, it doesn’t mean that I’m free.
I recommend that you read King’s College London’s piece, detailing all the symptoms and causes that perfectionism brings.
My mother is the same and I believe that was passed down. It was not easy gaining her approval. It felt that I had to jump through hoops burning with fire, to get a congratulatory remark. That need for her acceptance, in some ways carries on today.
Like a child, I will tell her everything note-worthy. I will wait for the appraise. If it doesn’t occur, somehow I feel deflated.
Perfectionism in someone else’s eyes
Not being able to find happiness within – contentment (if you will), made me want someone else to take over. To murmur my voice with the love of their own.
How badly I wanted a partner to believe me perfect. It would just crush me; finding out they are wildy attracted to a girl with a larger chest and curvy hips. Or someone super tall and super thin.
To know that they may wish me different. And the problem was, that I wasn’t going for genuine guys. I was dating men who saw me as a trophy; they thought that I was attractive, just not enough to live with my side-effects.
Living with negativity
Psychology Today, speaks about the negative orientation stemming from this disorder.
Perfectionists tend to focus on failure. It’s a trait that people love to mention in job interviews. That kind-of negative thing, that’s not really negative because it makes you complete tasks to a high standard.
I’ve said it myself. If it wasn’t for perfectionism, I wouldn’t write the same; I wouldn’t look the same.
How can something that roots from negativity, be a good thing?
The mind goes into night, and the body will cry for its sins
It’s the dream – believing that striving is a successful quality. Goals are only good when you are able to reach them. There’s no point aiming for childhood again, or hoping to look permanently young.
If you’re striving leads you to unhappiness, then you lose the meaning. Knowing deep down, that no matter what happens – it will never be enough, is some ways worse, than knowing that it can’t actually happen.
Social media and marketing
More than ever, we are encouraged to evaluate and seek validation. The generation reaching for the moon, also realises that they don’t have a shuttle.
Wherever you go – digitally or in the world, you see society promoting competitiveness. The ability to flaunt what we are all suppose to want. On Facebook, expect to see a bundle of – how amazing are my kids and look at my handsome partner. On Instagram – it’s my clothes, makeup, holidays and collective wealth. While online Twitter, you see successful people write positive quotes that convince us how easy it all is.
Yes, this doesn’t help insecurity or low-self esteem. It adds to a perfectionists thoughts. On the other hand, perfectionism is usually deep-rooted beyond social-media.
In terms of overcoming, Personal Excellence is a great source.
Rather than trying to rid your soul; work on improving – managing a better side.
It’s not as easy as: ‘write down what you love about yourself’, or: ‘remember there’s no such thing as perfection’.
Despite knowing that I can keep on progressing, I kind of accept that I will not reach 100%. Perfectionism won’t just leave, when it’s somehow ingrained.
Could you blame my stomach for not shredding another inch, when the mind of perfection, will not cease to blink
I’m happier, healthier and in the last few years, my life has drastically changed. There is still a murmur nevertheless, and beyond all the happiness I must, something is telling me it’s not enough.
What are your views on perfectionism? Do you suffer? Does perfectionism affect how you feel about yourself physically, as much as it does mentally?
If you love this post, read: Head Talks: 5 Lessons on Mental Health