When someone pretends that everything he does and around him is perfect, his own well-being may be in danger.
In today’s society it is increasingly common to hear phrases such as “success is only achieved by seeking perfection” or “there is only one way to improve yourself: to pursue excellence”. But is being a perfectionist really useful? What are the benefits and sacrifices of someone who seeks to achieve perfection? Can someone get sick simply because they like things done well?
WHY CAN PERFECTIONISM BE A PROBLEM?
Perfectionism is a character trait that allows you to achieve very satisfying goals and meet the challenges that life brings.
But when that quality becomes an existential purpose, when someone applies it to everything he does and surrounds him, it can become a great enemy of his own well-being.
A very high level of self-demand can make the person set goals that require titanic efforts. The admiration that arouses encourages him to continue on that path, but the desire to improve does not end there: the perfectionist needs to continue raising the bar.
Prisoner of that dissatisfaction, the perfectionist will be obstinate to try to continue improving the unbeatable.
Situations of this type can have physical repercussions. For example, intransigence decreases the ability to adapt and flexibility in the face of change. An individual with this profile may be more prone to suffering muscle contractures (inflexible) or repetitive tendonitis (adaptation difficulty).
When the mind is not given space to express itself freely, the human being can look for another way to manifest itself, and in that case, pathologies as diverse as migraines, high blood pressure, allergies or even some types of cancer may develop.
HOW ARE PERFECTIONISTS
Perfectionism is considered an obsessive personality trait. It is seen in methodical individuals, with persistent concerns about issues of relative importance.
Perfectionism can manifest itself at different levels and with varying degrees of intensity. There will be those who tend to express it from a very young age.
This is the case of Juan, an eight-year-old boy, whose mother comments that he cannot go to bed without having ordered his stories. Obviously, this is not pathological, but it warns us of a rare characteristic that may germinate over time.
There are those who can develop that character by circumstances of life. A traumatic event or a highly accurate profession can add a degree of perfectionism to someone who might be considered rather careless.
In any case, something has caused that piece of iceberg lodged deep within it to surface. In this regard, it is interesting to see how the education and love that a child receives from his parents’ influence.
When a child consistently gets applause for how well they’ve performed an action, they know how to keep liking them. If that approval is persisted, that child may feel more loved and valued for what he does than for what he is, and that can condition his future.
WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF PERFECTIONISM?
There are people who pride themselves on always doing things brilliantly. But sometimes, behind that cuirass carved with so much effort, there are hidden fears, complexes or even utopian needs such as wanting to have everything under control.
Faced with a perfectionist trait, what will help to prescribe a suitable remedy will be to discover the reason that motivates it. Why this need to do so well?
Often the answer will be: fear of failure. Fears, well interpreted, provide the homeopathic doctor with very valuable information to try to cure the patient.
Putting in order and leaving nothing unpredictable gives security and seemingly dispels the feeling of vulnerability. We use this defense system unconsciously many times to deafen fears as deep as the fear of disease, accidents or death.
Other times, after that effort to want to please or be liked, a low self-esteem hides, which must be disguised with an iron control of the emotions and showing a permanent infallibility that makes others and oneself believe how much one is worth.
And it is not uncommon for someone to be a perfectionist to hide their “big secret”, which should never be seen, perhaps because they have created some complex.
PERFECTIONISM AND COEXISTENCE PROBLEMS
It is difficult to live without a certain level of self-determination and self -improvement.
Moreover, whoever receives the label of perfectionist is probably a very honest and responsible person, admired for their degree of commitment.
But perfectionism taken to the extreme can cause many problems not only for those who suffer from it, but especially for those who live with it.
In the family environment it can become a nuisance to live with someone who loves that everything is impeccable, who rarely values the effort of others because he considers that they could have done better, or who is unable to enjoy his birthday party. son because someone forgot to buy the candles for the cake.
In addition, in some cases, his dedication to his work means that he is little at home and, when he is, he has priorities to think about for the next day.
HOW TO LEARN TO BE WRONG?
Achieving success in life is not possible without making mistakes. Of those who can say that they have succeeded, we can also affirm that on more than one occasion they have failed and, above all, that they have learned from their mistakes.
But learning to fail is not easy, it is a process that requires patience and persistence. In any case, you should start by trying:
- Don’t let recurring ideas linger in your head too long
- Do not delay decision making
- Trust others, learn to delegate responsibilities
- Lower the degree of control over what happens around
The latter is the most difficult, especially at the beginning, because it can generate concern in those who like to have everything under control.
BENEFITS OF LEAVING PERFECTIONISM BEHIND
When experience shows that life continues as well or better than before despite not having complied with that iron mark on everyday situations, we will be able to find a more comfortable and relaxed space without our commitments having been harmed by that.
Whoever has lost that source of satisfaction will have little chance of relaxing their spirit and at the same time discovering new challenges and horizons, infinitely more comforting than the monotony of a day to day without error.