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'My brain feels like it's been punched': the intolerable rise of perfectionism

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https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jul/17/my-brain-feels-like-its-been-punched-the-intolerable-rise-of-perfectionism

theguardian.com

'My brain feels like it's been punched': the intolerable rise of perfectionism
Tom Nicol thought he had a problem with sleep. He could never get enough. He took "a very disciplined, stripped approach" to his routine. He drank water only at premeditated times, ate according to schedule, avoided caffeine, exercised (but not close to bedtime) and shut down all screens at 9pm.

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Perfectionism

Perfectionism is a personality trait, which can be an endless pursuit of high standards in every area of our lives, but can also be a 'disorder' like condition or a phobia, akin to '

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Constant Mental Punishment

The trait of perfectionism constantly makes a person judge, compare and criticize suboptimal decisions or mistakes in any aspect of the daily routine.

A person starts having mental difficulti...

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The Voice In The Head

Perfectionism is a voice in our head, constantly fed by the media and society's ideals, coaxing us into doing things in the best way, to get the desired results. 

It is useful in ...

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Perfectionism is a growing cultural phenomenon that has engulfed a large set of people including celebrities. Some of the causes are:

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Social Media acts as the biggest culprit in amplifying perfectionism as youngsters can constantly compare their looks and their lives to others in easily measurable ways.

There is an increased expectation from our family and our peers to be perfect in all aspects of our lives.

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Do a weekly review to reflect on your progress

Do a weekly review to reflect on your progress

Try to identify things you avoided due to fear of failure and situations where your perfectionism wasn’t worth it or moments where you did well despite being uncertain.

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Get an outside perspective on your perfectionist tendencies

Talk honestly and openly to someone about your tendencies and how you’re working on getting better.

Ask them to tell you when you are being too fussy about something so you can think about it.

Interrupting the cycle of rumination

  • Take note of when you’re ruminating and what triggers it until you can see your patterns and find ways to counteract them.
  • Don't trust your first reaction when ruminating. Most of the time, it colors negatively your read of the situation.
  • Seek a diversion to break the rumination cycle.
  • Think positively: remembering your successes and times you tried new things helps you to not be avoidant of tasks you can’t do perfectly.

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“Done” is always better than “Perfect”

“Done” is always better than “Perfect”

“Perfect” and “productive” aren’t the same thing; perfectionism is actually counterproductive.

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3 types of perfectionism

  • Self-oriented: when people are highly critical of themselves.
  • Other-oriented: when people are highly critical of others.
  • Socially-prescribed: when people think others expect them to be perfect and then pressure themselves to be perfect in order to meet those expectations.

What causes perfectionism

  • Competitive work environments: If you work in a culture that demands perfection, you’ll probably start demanding perfection.
  • Pride and personality: Some persons have personalities that are naturally susceptible to perfectionism.
  • Fear of failure: People identify with their failure. They will strive for perfection as self-preservation.

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