How perfectionism can ruin your life

Nervous strikes on the keys, reading for the tenth time, and again complete dissatisfaction with the work done. “I can do better, I must do better!” – this phrase, like a mantra, is spinning in my head and makes me pore again and again, think, redo.

The same in front of the mirror (“Not pretty enough!”), on the kitchen (“You cook badly!”), on a date (“Mumble like a fool!”). It was me a couple of years ago, when the power of perfectionism over me was in full swing.

Today, many people live in such a state and mistakenly believe that there is nothing wrong with striving for the ideal. Unfortunately, perfectionism is not a cute animal that can be tamed, but a monster that systematically destroys our lives.

Scary beast perfectionism: why it can ruin your life - personal story
Julia Klyukvina – Bologny expert, author of the article Photo @ klay.julia

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Bad good friend

I got acquainted with perfectionism at the age of 18, when I just entered the university. Before that, I had never worried about imperfect grades or not the best relationship with teachers.

Oddly enough, at 18 I was much wiser than, say, at 25, because I could always say to myself: “There is no disaster in the top three in algebra, I just have a humanitarian mindset”

But upon entering a new educational institution, I met not only new people, but also perfectionism. I suddenly had an irresistible desire to know everything.

It was not a competition with someone, not an attempt to prove something to someone, but an inner indestructible conviction that I should. If I do not answer the teacher’s question, the world will collapse, the Earth will stop, the Sun will go out.

Scary beast perfectionism: why it can ruin your life - personal story
Photo @ klay.julia

Throughout my studies, I could not get enough of – how good it is that I became a perfectionist! How wonderful that I began to ask myself so severely, threw away “I can’t” and “I don’t want to” and became the best. After all, others appreciate it:

  • teachers;
  • parents;
  • friends who can always ask to cheat.

They love me, they respect me.

True, I also had to pay: perfectionism is a colossal nervous tension.

I began to suffer from insomnia, neuralgia, during the sessions my weight reached 30 kilograms! And yet I was glad …

Perfectionism is dangerous in the first place because of its deceitfulness. At the very beginning, it is simply impossible to understand the full danger of this condition, it seems that this is a good habit, because it is thanks to it:

  • you are praised more often at work;
  • you have lost weight;
  • learned a new language;
  • got the position.

And then you want to rush forward again and again, to control everything, to keep yourself in tight-knit gloves. And then, when the pursuit of an unattainable ideal becomes an ordinary state, it is very difficult, almost impossible to get rid of this addiction.

Scary beast perfectionism: why it can ruin your life - personal story
Photo @ klay.julia

How perfectionism stole my life

In my naivety, I believed that since perfectionism manifests itself exclusively in studies, then with its completion this obsessive state will also pass. How wrong I was!

Indeed, the first year after graduation, life went on as usual, even health began to recover. Until I met Him and fell in love.

And then, completely unexpectedly, perfectionism made itself felt again! And in no time made my life intolerable. Without asking for my permission, perfectionism has penetrated into almost all areas of my life, and, worst of all, into my personal life.

I started dating like an exam: sticky fear, tension, and the habitual feeling of “must be perfect.”

In those moments, it was not me who was sitting in front of the young man, but a completely different person – someone who wanted to become the best version of me. And the real “I” lived those rare moments when I was absolutely alone at home and could afford to be imperfect.

Needless to say, what was the retribution?

New health problems, panic attacks and total self-doubt. The most unpleasant thing is that this relationship, for which I spent so much energy and nerves, was actually destroyed by me.

Scary beast perfectionism: why it can ruin your life - personal story
Photo @ klay.julia

Do not deceive yourself and believe that you are in control of your pursuit of perfection. Perfectionism is impossible to control: one day it will smoothly take over all areas of your life.

But the worst thing about him is that he invariably steals your personality, deforms it and pushes loved ones away from you.

My mother suffers from everyday perfectionism: she can make a huge scandal because of an incorrectly placed cup. I have social perfectionism.

When communicating with people who are important to me, I try to control every word, every phrase, I am afraid of any mistake. I am constantly worried about how others will evaluate me. And because of this, I often seem dry and unfriendly: after all, I am afraid to be real.

It is difficult for a perfectionist to be happy, he can easily scare people away with his behavior, he can spend his whole life chasing an ideal.

Scary beast perfectionism: why it can ruin your life - personal story
Photo @ klay.julia

Instead of an epilogue

I have not yet succeeded in completely getting rid of perfectionism, but the very recognition and understanding of the problem has become a huge step.

I learned to deceive my mind: I began to conditionally devalue many things, agreeing with myself that everything I do is not so important, and if I am mistaken, the world will not collapse.

And I also taught myself to admit my weaknesses to others. Now, at the very beginning of the conversation, I honestly say: “Sorry, I’m really, really worried.”… And it helps a lot!

Yes, I am not perfect in communication, I have already admitted that, and the world has not collapsed.

Are you familiar with perfectionism? Let us know in the comments!

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