There are two kinds of perfectionist: adaptive and maladaptive.
Which type are you?
If you are an adaptive perfectionist, you have high standards and you believe you live up to them.
This belief becomes essential to your identity.
You may be stressed, but you’re pretty happy with yourself.
However, if you are a maladaptive perfectionist (MAP), you also have high standards, but you don’t believe you live up to them.
You are disappointed in yourself.
You’re more likely to get depressed and have low self-esteem.
To overcome MAP, face your fears now
You don’t have to suffer in perfectionist hell
Just because you’re a maladaptive perfectionist, you don’t have to continue to suffer.
Here’s what to do.
This will take a little work but it will be worth it.
The next time you find yourself procrastinating, ask yourself this question:
Am I thinking catastrophically?
In other words, am I thinking that unless I succeed, all is lost?
This is the basic fear you face.
Your fear is that if you fail at this, you are a failure, period.
Not just you didn’t meet your goal — it’s much worse than that.
Do you take one small event, such as a mistake, and exaggerate the consequences until the repercussions are staggering?
For example, let’s say you went out on a date.
The date didn’t go perfectly.
Do you equate the fact that the date with this particular person didn’t go well with —
“I am such a loser. I will never find someone to be with.”
This is the essence of exaggerating the consequences to the staggering level.
What can you do today?
Ok, so let’s take a look at what you can do today to get past your past tendency to suffer with MAP.
The next time you get that sinking, catastrophic feeling, ask yourself:
“Is it true?”
Is it true that if that particular date didn’t go well that all is lost?
This may seem like a silly question, but if you are a maladaptive perfectionist, that question is in the back of your head.
Get it out of the back of your head and out into the light and ask if it’s really true.
Just getting it out and looking at it will help.
You may find that it’s not as bad as it felt when the question or the catastrophic fear was stuck inside.
Give that fear some air.
As always, I am here to help.
Feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com.