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My mom is a perfectionist. All she does she gives 300% and normally the result is amazing. The problem is that she expects everybody else to have the same standards as her.  I grew up in a home where everything I did was not enough. When I came home with a 97% average report card, I never had as much as a tap on the back.  This frustrated me so much that by the time I was a teenager I didn't even speak to my mom anymore.


Now that I am older, I find myself repeating the same behavior: I am a perfectionist.  Contrary to my mom, I do not expect everybody to thrive but I do so with myself. No matter how extraordinary my accomplishments, I am never satisfied. I discard them like they don't even count.  Instead of my mom driving me mad, I do so all by myself.
So tell me, how does one know it is acceptable and should be proud of thyself when all your head accepts is perfection?
At the moment, I use a system I used to apply with my students.  Each month, I write down things I would like to accomplish. I try to keep each one realist, giving myself a 10-20% margin of error (that's the tough part!!).  At the end of the month, I give myself a star for each objective accomplished and gather the stars on a success sheet.  This way, I can visualize how many objectives I actually accomplish and maybe feel that even though I am not perfect, I do thrive! happy I feel this is childish but then again this is a pattern that emerges from my childhood, so maybe it is appropriate. We'll see. So far, so good.

Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cc-u wrote Jan 31, 2012
    • I’m a perfectionist too.  A couple of things have helped me:  1-striving to optimize rather than perfect (referring to the law of diminishing returns), and 2-trying to give myself the same respect I give to others; for example, if i can cut others a break, why not myself?
      There is also an excellent article on the LiveStrong website.  Do a search on “Perfectionism” & it’ll probably be the 1st article to come up.  Very insightful.

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