Module 3 - What keeps perfectionism going?
Not achieving the standards seem to enforce them.
Trying to reach these standards comes at the cost of my mental health and stress as I established earlier.
But what happens when I do achieve these standards?
When I got the job I have now, I was initially happy. But then I felt is wasn't good enough. It's the kind of job a 15 year old gets to earn some extra pocket-money. Not really suitable for a 30 year old that wants to build a life. I lied about being comfortable socially, I told them I was single and not dating so I hadn't really thought about having kids, that was a lie. I got the job, just because I lied at the interview. If I don't deserve this, how can I even deserve something decent? I still feel like I have to work even harder (with higher standards) to get something better. Something decent. Don't get me wrong. I'm really grateful that I have at least this job.
With perfectionism it may be easier to to get caught up in errors.
I know for myself that I read and rewrite applications at least 10 times before I send it. If I then spot a comma where there is supposed to be a period, I loose it. I know at that point I can't possibly get the job. And I'll spend the rest of the week in a ****ty mood obsessing about that error.
When I get a rejection I will ask why (as instructed by the courses I've been to) And the reply will always ring in my ears for days.
Often they will tell how many applicants the position had. Usually its around 320. I will always feel like I'm right there at the bottom, and that all those other 320 people were better than me. Specially if I go back and read the application, which often do. I will butcher it look at how I could have worded myself better. The amount of work I put on this is ridiculous. I know this, but I can't help it.
When I'm obsessive about my hygiene and grooming, I will spend hours brushing my hair and I'll really focus on those stray hairs. Usually this ends up with me feeling ashamed of my looks and staying inside, unless I have
to go out. Fortunately this is kind of rare though
This is probably due to bullying, which again, I blame myself for because I wasn't confident enough when I tried to stand up for myself.
Self-criticism and Unhelpful Thinking Styles.
Obviously, self-criticism and perfectionism goes hand in hand.
Going trough the common harmful thinking styles with perfectionism that I know I do sometimes.
Black and White thinking
I know this is irrational, but I will often think like "if I fail this, I will never reach my goal".
When I get worked up I'll definitely get insanely focused on the small mistakes despite the rest being almost flawless.
Should and Must
"I should excel at my work if I want a chance at something better"
"I must write the perfect application"
This isn't healthy.
Blowing things out of proportion. Yep. I do this.
"That customer didn't find what he wanted and seemed almost offended for that, now I'm going to cause the store to loose customers, and that will cause them to have to cut back and I'm next in line so I'm going to loose my job."
"I'm a worthless piece of ****, I'll never amount to anything"
"I'm a stupid idiot"
Yeah.. I do this constantly.
Jumping to conclusions
"My clothes look old and wrinkly, and my hair looks like a mess. People must think I'm poor. Or maybe even homeless"
"I said *this*, I'm sure they think I'm an idiot/freak/attention craving *****"
Magnification and minimization
Explaining away my own positive sides as if they aren't important. Yeah, I do that too some times.
So, I do all of the common thinking styles.. great.