We won’t send spam. Unsubscribe at any time.
Perfectionism can drive people to great achievements. It can provide the energy and motivation to keep going until a goal is reached. Striving to do a perfect job is awesome!
However, when you are striving to be a perfect person you start running into troubles.
Perfectionism has been one of the big contributors to my previous social anxiety. I grew up always wanting to be the best. I simply enjoyed the challenge.
But, when I hit puberty I always felt I had to impress, and be the coolest, funniest etc. I tried to be a perfect person. And when I was not that perfect person I felt people didn’t like and respect me.
This becomes social perfectionism.
I handled this problem for myself by now. I now strive for excellence and stopped taking myself so seriously.
In this article I will tell you about the myth of perfectionism, how it affects your social anxiety and what to do about it.
A personal standard, attitude, or philosophy that demands perfection and rejects anything less.
This means that when you don’t live up to your own expectations of being perfect, you feel unworthy. Or low on self esteem.
Let’s face it, being perfect as a human being is impossible. You simply cannot be perfect. You can always do better.
So you’re striving for an illusion! And you’re beating yourself up internally for not living up to your own unattainable expectations… Isn’t that crazy?
Let me try to be more clear.
Feeling the need to be perfect is an idea or belief inside your mind. And it is an irrational belief because it doesn’t exist in the real world. This is because, once again, it is impossible to be a perfect human being.
Let me explain:
For perfection we need to have a way of measuring it. For a multiple choice test you can score 30 out of 30. A perfect score. But how can we exactly measure being a perfect person? We can’t!
So being perfect doesn’t exist, there’s only perfect scores.
Below I’ve created a list of where (social) perfectionism gets unhealthy.
So if you have a perfectionist personality…
It affects it in several ways. I’ve bullet pointed them below.
It affects your social anxiety if you strive to be a socially perfect person because…
Learn more about what social perfectionism is in this short clip below.
You have to completely accept yourself, with all your flaws included. Let go of how you should be.
Realize that you are already perfect, just by the mere fact that you are born. You won the race with millions of other sperm cells! A perfect performance!
You only think you are not perfect because of all the society programming you have gotten from TV, commercials, magazines etc.
Besides, people that always try to be perfect are boring! Understand that you are human, and that humans make mistakes. This is fine. Forgive yourself when you make mistakes and laugh at it. Try to take yourself less serious.
Enjoy the path of improvement. Set an attainable, flexible goal and give yourself plenty of time to achieve it. Realize that you might never be able to achieve that ideal goal. And accept that, but still try to reach for it and enjoy the path of improving.
Smaller goals. Put smaller goals within your end goal. Once you achieve one of the smaller goals, reward yourself. This reinforces your efforts to change and keeps you motivated.
Failure doesn‘t exist. Get this concept out of your mind. There is only feedback on how to do it better next time. You either succeed or you learn and take that lesson for your next attempt.
Be proud of good performances, even though they weren’t perfect.
Get rid of your negative inner voice and replace your irrational beliefs regarding perfection and social perfection. Reframe it. Make yourself want to be excellent instead of perfect.
Realize that making an effort to change is good in and of itself. You don’t have to be the best, the example, the popular one, the coolest etc. Let other people worry about that.
What you do, and how perfect or imperfect you do it should not affect your sense of worth. It’s who you are as a person, not what you do.
If you want to learn more about how to approach perfectionism in social situations, check out this podcast episode for more insight.
So, please don’t take yourself so seriously. The more you can laugh at yourself, the more easy your life becomes, the more you like yourself and the more people like you.
Start accepting being imperfect. Be perfectly fine with striving for excellence!
I found a technique that helped me accept myself and overcome my social anxiety completely. It is NOT changing your thoughts, deep-breathing and facing your fears…
It’s far more powerful than that.
I have a free social confidence starter kit where I teach you this technique over a series of videos.