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Perfectionism Or Perfection? Algorithm For Determining The Ideal - Self-development
Perfectionism Or Perfection? Algorithm For Determining The Ideal - Self-development

Video: Perfectionism Or Perfection? Algorithm For Determining The Ideal - Self-development

Video: Perfectionism Or Perfection? Algorithm For Determining The Ideal - Self-development
Video: Perfectionism is destroying your productivity. 2023, March

At a psychological consultation, a young woman who is literally torn apart from indignation. She talks about how over the years she learned to accept herself for who she is. It all started in adolescence, when, against the background of her peers, she looked like a real "ugly duckling" - too tall, too thin, awkward, far from ideal. They didn’t just laugh at her, it happened that they beat and humiliated her

She graduated from school with the firm conviction that she is "ugly" and that no normal guy would ever pay attention to her. But soon she fell in love, and this event forced her to join the "race for beauty." The girl's parents are not poor people, and, as she herself says, “we have spent a fortune on my beauty industry!”

Perpetual tuning

But, as you might guess, all this hard work on yourself (nutritionists, beauticians, stylists) was useless. Because the beloved guy preferred her to another. The loss of a loved one turned into depression, which began to manifest itself in the form of intensified and obsessive attempts to improve their appearance. Constant diets turned her into a real skeleton, always hungry and angry. In the fitness center, she passed out several times due to overtraining. I started looking for doctors who could perform an operation to reduce her height by 5-10 centimeters.

The latter fact greatly frightened her parents, who literally took her by the hand to a psychologist. The work with a psychologist was successful: the girl learned to accept herself for who she is and got rid of obsessive attempts to endlessly "tune" her appearance. At the same time, she met a young man, fell in love, he reciprocated her, after which they played a wedding. They are still together and he adores her (despite the fact that she is shorter).

The wedding and the end of the fairy tale?

It would seem that this is a happy end to the story, but no … After her fate was adjusted, the woman deeply believed in principles that are akin to religious ones - they are implanted by modern psychologists. The postulates of this “religion” look something like this: “You are what you are. Don't improve yourself! The pursuit of perfection is neurosis and self-abuse. The constant pursuit of the ideal is perfectionism, obsessive rituals with which we try to improve what there is no point in improving."

The new "religion of acceptance"

There is some truth in this "religion", but there is also a danger. The danger lies in the devaluation of ideals, in the rejection of them. Where would human civilization be now if all people of the past, without exception, “accepted themselves as they are” without trying to improve ?! Therefore, it is important not only to accept yourself, abandoning any ideals - it is important to determine the correct ideal for yourself. And then already move towards it, reaching the feasible "perfection".

… Let's go back to the beginning of the note: why was the woman so indignant? The fact is that she got a job, and her immediate supervisor constantly requires her to perform her work duties perfectly. She, as a follower of the "psychological religion of acceptance", is very offended by these requirements. She had already tried to explain to the manager that there was no point in such "labor perfectionism", but he did not hear her.

Who is right in this situation?

The answer lies in whether there are criteria for assessing the quality of activities, how clear and objective they are. The manager will be absolutely right if the organization explicitly formulates tasks / plans, as well as criteria for evaluating work results. Then it is quite possible that, in comparison with these indicators, a woman does not perform her job perfectly, but, say, with a "three plus". And this can always be proven with specific numbers.

A woman will be right if the criteria for an ideal job exist only in the head of the head, are not formulated on paper and are not clearly communicated to employees. Ideals become too subjective and vague, and, as a result, practically unattainable. Employees can make whatever effort they want, try their last bit, but the manager still has many reasons to accuse them that their work was "not perfect."

Recommendations for determining the ideal

As a general recommendation, we can offer a simple algorithm that will help to deal with the problem of perfection and determine the ideal.

As a first step, ask a simple question: Who is the master of the ideal? If this is your private life, then you are the master of the ideal. If this is an external activity, then the ideal appeared there long before you, and you are not its owner.

In your private life, only you are the owner of the "ideal appearance". Therefore, the decision on whether to accept yourself “as I am” or to change my appearance the way I want depends only on you. But if you come to, say, the modeling business, then this is an external activity, where ideas about the "ideal appearance" are formulated in accordance with fashion, industry standards, and the media environment. If you want to be successful in this activity, you will have to improve yourself in accordance with the requirements of external standards.

In the first case, when you are the master of the ideal, the term "perfection" has little meaning, since it is completely subjective. You can set any level of excellence for yourself and rejoice in achieving it. In the second case, perfection has very specific measurable indicators. Voluntarily and consciously striving for them and achieving them is not a neurosis, but a completely normal path of development, for example, of professional skill. And "excellence" (= professional skill) is quite an appropriate term here.

As a second step of the algorithm, I propose to ask the following control question: if I am the master of an ideal, am I not confusing my inner ideal with the outer one? We rarely think about where our ideals come from. But most often we learn them at an early age from comparing ourselves with those around us. Plus we correct it through the prism of available information and relationships of loved ones.

Initially, all our ideals are alien, external ideals. And if other girls in the class tell her that she is ugly, then this ideal of beauty is assimilated, according to which she will consider herself ugly. The ability to realize my ideals as soon as my own, independent of other people's assessments and opinions, does not come immediately (and this is a sign of personal maturity). Accepting myself means: formulating my own new ideal of beauty, according to which I will evaluate my appearance as normal, quite beautiful.

We fall into neurotic perfectionism when we strongly cling to other people's (external) ideals, which we consider our own by default. Of course, our persistent attempts to conform to other people's ideals will not lead to anything good, except for fatigue, burnout, disappointment in ourselves. Therefore, ask yourself very meticulously: is the ideal that I am trying to comply with - is it really my ideal? Or a stranger and he needs to be rethought and replaced with our own ?!

And the last thing: perfectionism makes a person unhappy, and achieving perfection gives a feeling of flight and happiness

Perfectionism is the lot of neurotics, and achieving perfection is the favorite game of self-actualized individuals. You just need to learn to distinguish between activities with internal or external quality criteria, as well as your own ideals and those of others. And, as Salvador Dali once accurately noted, do not be afraid of perfection, you will not achieve it!

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