Module 4 - Changing perfectionism
To help identify the impact perfectionism has on my life, the module asks me to make some lists.
Weighing up the helpful (+) and harmful (-) aspects of perfectionism
- Time consuming
- Stress, lots of it
- Suicidal tendencies
- Keeps me from enjoying otherwise nice days
- Sleep deprivation caused by stress
- Procrastinate endlessly on hobbies I used to enjoy
- May contribute to migraines
+ I'm very focused on some things.
+ I most probably won't make the same mistake twice in a working environment
Personal benefits(+)/costs(-) I expect if I can loosen my standards
+ The ability to fully relax
+ The ability to believe in a brighter future despite "conditions" not being met
+ Enjoying hobbies at a similar level I used to
+ More courage to try doing new things
- May fall back and end up making a fool out of myself publicly. Undoing all my progress.
- May neglect important tasks like applying for jobs in order to have fun
Am I ready to change?
The CCI says
"Changing your perfectionism will require a certain amount of time and effort. Are you able to commit to this task? You might not be able to make this commitment if you have other stressful things going on in your life (e.g., relationship difficulties, severe depression, and substance misuse). If this is true for you then you may need to get help in relation to these other problems before you are able to devote time and energy to overcoming perfectionism"
I'm not sure how severe my depression is. I think its more moderate, but I do get somewhat suicidal. During the winter, this appears to be on a weekly basis at least. I'm also very stressed about my financial situation and low prospects for the future. I feel like the perfectionism contributes to these.
Therefore YES I'm ready to change, but, I can see that it will be challengy.
Setting goals for Change
THIS, is something I've always had problems with. I have a big problem believing in the future, believing things can change, and most of all, setting realistic time-frames. But hey, lets try.
Step 1: Choose one problem-area to work on first
I choose Work. That's the one I have the most issues with.
This will be the area I'll be focusing on
Step 2: Adjusting the standard
I need to be ok with failing. It shouldn't be the end of the world.
Edison got 10.000 of his light bulbs wrong. Maybe I have to apply to 10.000 jobs before I get one. I've roughly sent 1170 applications the last 4 years, if my math is correct. Only 8830 to go XD lol. Not that serious about that part.. I'm tired. sorry.
Step 3: Identify the perfectionist behavior I wish to work on.
I want to say procrastinating, but that's more related to the hobby and not work. Checking. I check an application 10 times before I send it. I tweak it over and over, and then I check it after I get the rejection. This isn't good and needs to change.
Step 4: Identify a specific goal towards reducing perfectionist behavior
No checking after the rejection, I remember that being less tormenting before I started doing this, and only checking 3 times before I send the application.
Step 5: Set a Time Frame.
Ummm 1 month? February is usually a slow month for applications though. Maybe we should say 3 months. Things in the job market should start picking up soon. (I apply to everything I CAN do)
CCI's Coping tips:
1. Practice - Practice makes perfect.
How many times have you heard this? How many times have you repeated a behaviour in order to “make it perfect”? Well, we would like to encourage you to practice NOT being perfect!
2. Give yourself permission to make mistakes - We all make mistakes.
In fact, some of our most valuable learning comes from taking a non-judgemental look at the mistakes we’ve made. Making a mistake and living with it is a sign of progress!
3. Remind yourself of the unhelpful consequences of your perfectionism
this is particularly helpful if you are struggling to stay motivated.
4. Learn to laugh - happy people know how to laugh and don’t take life too seriously.
5. Reward yourself often - give yourself a pat on the back when you’ve accomplished something outside your comfort zone!
Rewarding is going to be hard (as well as allowing for mistakes, but that's kind of the point here). Probably serves a purpose though.
Embrace the glorious mess that you are