As a perfectionist, I set high standards for myself. When I’m unable to meet these standards, I beat myself up with criticism and judgment. A downfall to this (besides the fact it is terrible for my self esteem), is that I set these standards for others as well. When they fail to meet my standards, I criticize and judge them to myself. The irony in all of this is that no human being could ever possibly meet the unrealistic standards I am setting!
My favourite definition of perfectionism is as follows, “Perfectionists strain compulsively and unceasingly toward unobtainable goals, and measure their self-worth by productivity and accomplishment. Pressuring oneself to achieve unrealistic goals inevitably sets the person up for disappointment. Perfectionists tend to be harsh critics of themselves when they fail to meet their standards.”
I used to believe that being a perfectionist was one of my positive qualities. I now know that it is in fact a defect. The way I’ve been trying to tackle this defect is through love, tolerance, patience and compassion.
When I view myself and those around me simply as the human beings that we are, the component of compassion kicks in. Once my compassion has kicked in, love, patience and tolerance follow.
I’m finding the world to be a lot more manageable when I view it through the eyes of compassion.