Ascent Publication
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Ascent Publication

If Perfectionism Had Sound, It’d Be Loud

Perfectionism is a topic in mental health that I research and read about often. I have always been fascinated with the fact that perfectionism is far more a curse, then many would think, considering the terminology, and the use of the word “perfect..

I see the word curse thrown around often as a way to describe perfectionism, and the way a perfectionist can regularly feel. It is as if, perfectionism is itself, an extremely heavy weight holding down the perfectionist from progressing.

Reformed perfectionists have described it and compared it many different ways. It seems that many of them seem to connect perfectionism, to probably of confidence and a potential for a lack of. It is actually something that often surrounds issues with insecurities. With each failing perfection are insecurities sinking lower.

Perfectionism can attach itself to a perfectionist in varied ways. All those ways do travel along a common theme and desired end result. However, it can have different focus points, as well as intentions and what’s looked at as the goal, or the perceived success point?

Self Perfectionism is an idea of one’s self. A idea of there being a spotlight as well as pairs of eyes always being directed towards one. It can certainly stir up more than its fair share of negative emotions. Not to mention it seems to create this new found phobia that creates a more than healthy fear of making mistakes.

People like this can be very subconscious, and a lot of time can be spent with a worry on looks, more specifically, how one looks to others, and the need to look perfect. At times an unrealistic amount of time can be spent on appearance. Yet still, a feeling of being not quite as perfect as desired still can linger. One of the many ways that a perfectionist may feel unsuccessful or a failure. A extreme on the spectrum of disappointment.

Social perfectionism is a form, having to do with a perfectionism, and their rules, and their ways of living. They’ll likely only validate someone else, if that someone else is following the same identical rules, nothing less than perfectly.

Just typing it myself, I know right away how many of you may think this sounds ridiculous. And it does. Especially since we aren’t even talking about someone following a boss’s rules at work. This is just in the sense of happening in day to day life. After all, it has the word social in its title for a reason.

This form of perfectionism does not have a high longevity or success rate.

A person trying to live Learning Perfectionism, is someone who applies their need for perfection primarily around skills. When the need to learn new skills arises, it can be seen as some type of challenge.

They begin to journey of learning that new skill, or it can also be something like a new project at work. In that process, a fear inside can develop, one of almost anxiety levels. It’s failing that seems like a frightening result.

To describe it more clearly, it’s as if, it’s perceived that there is a huge crowd watching that person stumble, and struggle to learn that task. It can just really make someone feel flustered, and it can be tough, because there’s a likely chance that Learning Perfectionist is a good candidate more than qualified.

Fear can be crippling. Especially when the fear of the moment is already in overdrive seemingly before it even starts. Not to mention, the perfectionist is still attempting to learn this new task, while scared and insistent that it won’t be good enough.

Perfectionism can sometimes stir up a feeling of comparative urge. What this trait really involves is a constant feeling of competing with the other guy. If they get involved in work, or a project the similar to somebody else, the mental ball starts rolling immediately.

The scenarios can be unbelievably endless in nature. It can start from something as simple as grass. Two neighbors, and one perfectionist minimum. Both neighbors to be perfectionists. If this scene develops, that comparative perfectionism will sure keep one busy, mowing, trimming, fertilizing.

By far, the perfectionist may win and truly have the most amazing lawn in the neighborhood. Every single person in town agrees. Except one. The comparative perfectionist.

That is just one of an infinite choices of scenarios. From sports, to looks, to who’s car is best. If one feels defeated in this area, the feeling can be lackluster, less superior than others.

Risks of both being anxious, or a feeling that everyone involved knows just how anxious that perfectionist is. Defeated.

All these things, are all true in only one mind. The only way defeat is present, is at the perfectionist’s own hands. The usual course. Defeated again by their own hand, as well as mind, and heart. It is true chaos.

If perfectionism had a sound, it would be extremely loud and earth shattering.




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Michael Patanella

Author, Publisher, and Editor. I cover mindfulness, mental health, addiction, sobriety, life, and spirituality among other things.