#78 Kill Your Perfectionist With Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Kill Your Perfectionist With Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Do you look at things in absolute, black and white categories – in which things are either 100% ‘good’ or 100% ‘bad’? Do you get stuck in procrastination and avoidance traps and fail to get shit done? Do you suffer from depression and anxiety because you compulsively search out and then focus on the mistakes and flaws in yourself, your creative endeavours and the other people in your life? Do you agonise over social interactions that happened in the past and didn’t go “just right”? Do you lie awake at night worrying about that little bit of softness around your midsection or the grey hairs appearing at your temples? Are you unrealistically hard on yourself – feverishly trying to do everything…… perfectly?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions it is likely that you come in high on the perfectionist scale.
Many of us suffer from perfectionism. It is a rotten ailment that leads to inaction, avoidance, unnecessary worry, procrastination, unmet potential at work, broken dreams and failure.
‘Perfect’ is an abstract idea that does not exist in the real world. Your idea of ‘perfect’ exists only inside your skull and has no objective reality in the concrete universe – it is a demon that haunts and cripples you – it is not your friend, it is an enemy that needs to be defeated!
Everything is imperfect. Everything can technically be improved upon in some small way. Even the finest symphony or work of art or technical gadget could be improved on in some way. Perfection is IMPOSSIBLE.
Trying to achieve the impossible is a bad idea. It leads to depression, depletion and a lack of self-belief. When you are attempting the impossible you find it hard to get going because the task is so onerous! When you require your art, work or behaviour to be ‘perfect’ you often just avoid doing anything at all – you fail to ‘ship’ – because you are afraid to put out work (or behaviour) that is imperfect. You become trapped in a cage of perfectionism – locked in, inactive, stuck and getting nothing much done.
The cure for perfectionism is to see it for what it is – a crippling psychological condition that is (more often than not) preventing you from doing great things. The perfect is the enemy of the good, and of the great. Putting out good, or great, but ALWAYS IMPERFECT work, art, behaviour or whatever is where it’s at!
If you become OK and happy with the fact that whatever you do…. it will be somewhat imperfect, you can move on with your life, be productive, make progress towards your dreams, develop skills, improve your performance, give people the gift of your creativity and unique voice, be busy, be socially free, be excited and exciting!
Whatever you are doing – it does not have to be (nor can it ever be) perfect, it just has to BE! Just DO it…. necessarily, inevitably, imperfectly.
Loosen up and joyously put out imperfect work. Be a part of the glorious imperfection of the world – and succeed by embracing IMperfection!