Monday, May 20, 2024

Let’s Discuss About Perfectionism (And How It Has Affected Me And My Home Tasks)


Why am I speaking about perfectionism right now? As a result of perfectionism is one thing that I’ve handled for so long as I can keep in mind, nevertheless it’s just lately come to my consideration (through a snarky commenter on a current publish who thought she was setting me straight) that non-perfectionists might not really now what perfectionism is, or the way it impacts individuals who cope with perfectionism.

On this particular person’s snarky feedback (the place she additionally insinuated that I’ve horrible work ethic, that I ought to end my very own tasks earlier than anticipating a handyman to complete them for me (lol…what?), and that I ought to be capable to set up a shutter on a stone home in just some minutes with a nail 😂), she mentioned, “Rolling my eyes laborious on the “I’m a perfectionist” mantra while you’re leaving issues unfinished for thus lengthy…”

Whereas I may snicker on the different nonsense, that a part of her remark truthfully confused the heck out of me. That made as a lot sense as saying to an individual who suffers from agoraphobia, “Rolling my eyes laborious on the “I’m an agoraphobic” mantra while you haven’t even left your own home for 12 months.” Ummm…yeah. The worry of leaving one’s home is a tell-tale signal of agoraphobia. And what are the tell-tale indicators of perfectionism? The worry of beginning a brand new undertaking, procrastination, having unfinished tasks, and taking means longer than needed (i.e., for much longer than non-perfectionists) to complete a undertaking.

I suppose folks like my snarky commenter imagine {that a} perfectionist is somebody whose home is actually excellent — all of the tasks are performed, the whole lot is clear, nothing is ever misplaced. Perfectionists dwell in excellent environment, proper?

Ha! Nothing might be farther from the reality! And also you don’t even should take my phrase for it. There are actually hundreds of articles on websites like Psychology Immediately and Good Remedy that designate what perfectionism is, and the way it impacts folks. It’s nearly by no means good. In actual fact, you’d be laborious pressed to discover a single article that describes a perfectionist as an individual who has all of it collectively, whose tasks are all completed, whose home is ideal, whose work product is ideal, and many others. That’s simply merely not what perfectionism is.

I’ve struggled with perfectionism for so long as I can keep in mind. Do I like issues to be excellent? Completely! Do I anticipate the issues I do and what others do for me to be excellent? YES!! And therein lies the issue. There’s no such factor as perfection. Regardless of how laborious we attempt, none of us will do issues completely. And that want for perfection together with the information (and worry and dread) that issues won’t ever be excellent is the place the strain lies for perfectionists like myself.

There are two foremost ways in which my perfectionism has affected me all through my life, and I can guarantee you that each of them are irritating even to me, and laborious to dwell with at instances.

Struggling to get began on tasks:

I can very simply get caught within the planning section of a undertaking. I provide you with a plan, scrap that plan, begin over on the plan, tweak the plan, discover new concepts to include into the plan, begin over on the plan once more, and on, and on, and on the cycle goes. Why? Due to worry that I’d begin the undertaking with an imperfect plan in hand, after which find yourself with a horrible consequence.

So I get caught within the planning section, and that section can final weeks, or months, and even years, relying on the undertaking. What it seems prefer to the remainder of the world is procrastination or laziness. And whereas it might appear like that, what the world doesn’t see is the turmoil happening contained in the minds of us perfectionists. We need to start out on the undertaking. We need to get it performed. However the worry of not getting it good prevents us from leaping in with each toes and simply getting began.

Struggling to complete tasks:

Struggling to complete tasks is the results of worry or dread that the right imaginative and prescient that I see in my head gained’t be the truth once I’m really completed with the undertaking. And that actuality is sort of insufferable.

I discover this about myself with nearly each undertaking I do. I’ve all the time referred to as it my “90% rule”. I’ve seen that my constant habits is that once I get to the 90% full mark on nearly any undertaking, I need to stroll away and begin on one thing new.

It’s not as a result of I don’t have the eye span to finish it, and it’s not a scarcity of self-discipline. It’s a results of perfectionism. I all the time have this excellent imaginative and prescient in my thoughts of what a undertaking will appear like when it’s completed, and the concept that the precise completed undertaking might not dwell as much as that picture in my thoughts causes me a lot stress and dread that I simply need to stroll away.

Identical to I did on the primary half of the room, I drew my line down the middle of the room (perpendicular to the entrance wall of cupboards and the again French doorways), after which working from the beforehand completed half of the room and the middle perpendicular line, I traced the squares on the aspect of the room subsequent to the breakfast room.

However then I completely couldn’t make myself begin on the opposite aspect. Why? Due to an amazing sense of dread that the areas towards the wall on the opposite aspect wouldn’t come out completely even with those on this aspect…

I sat there on the ground and deliberate and contemplated and puzzled how I may get them completely the identical. I knew I couldn’t, and that led to an absolute sense of dread. Because of that feeling, my pure response was to keep away from it altogether. I didn’t need to end tracing the squares. I needed to stroll away, keep away from it utterly, and begin on one other undertaking.

I needed to stroll away and simply be completely pleased with the excellent imaginative and prescient I had in my head of what the ground ought to appear like in a excellent world. So what did I do? I sat on the ground, telephone available, and listened to an audio ebook whereas scrolling Instagram for about half-hour. Possibly longer. I actually don’t know as a result of I sort of misplaced monitor of time. I simply needed to keep away from the state of affairs and get misplaced in an ideal world I may create in my thoughts. In different phrases, I procrastinated.

After a time period, I lastly made myself rise up and end tracing these squares, with a pit in my abdomen the entire time as a result of I knew there was no technique to get it excellent. And afterwards, was it excellent? No! In fact not! Perfection shouldn’t be one thing that’s ever attainable, and that bothers me tremendously. However that’s the truth of dwelling in the true world versus dwelling with the right photos in my thoughts.

In order that’s perfectionism. It may be brutal typically. It’s not a peaceable technique to undergo life.

The excellent news for me is that running a blog for the final 16 years has been some of the therapeutic methods for me to cope with my very own perfectionism, and to seek out more healthy methods to cope with it (like permitting myself to redo tasks as many instances as wanted to ensure that me to be pleased with the end result). And I do assume I’ve gotten higher, and located extra peace in my thoughts, because of running a blog.

The very fact is that if I weren’t a blogger who shared my tasks very publicly, there’s in all probability no means I may have turned these rooms…

…into these completed rooms…

If I had been simply making an attempt to do that by myself and privately, each single undertaking in each single room of my home can be left 90% full as a result of that’s the place my thoughts simply naturally checks out and strikes on to one thing new. That means, I’d by no means be pressured to dwell with the discrepancies between the truth of my completed (and imperfect) tasks and the right visions I had in my head. If the whole lot had been left at 90% full, I may have the enjoyable of working with my palms and doing enjoyable issues, whereas on the similar time, avoiding a complete lot of dread and disappointment when my tasks don’t prove excellent (which they by no means do, as a result of once more, perfection isn’t really attainable).

So whereas my perfectionism did trigger me to take longer on the ground than was needed, and take a look at for a bit whereas I prevented the uncomfortable actuality of the imperfection of the ground design, have you learnt what made me not stroll away utterly from that flooring undertaking this week?

You. You probably did. All the individuals who learn my weblog, who need to see progress on my tasks, and who anticipate (finally) to see a completed product. That accountability that this weblog and all of you carry to my life has helped me tremendously in my very own wrestle with perfectionism. I nonetheless dwell with it, and a few of my tasks do take longer because of it. However no less than I do finally get them performed (or most of them, no less than), and I’ve a home crammed with stunning (to me) rooms that I could be happy with. I wouldn’t have that with out the accountability that running a blog has delivered to my life.


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