Perfection, as alluring as it seems, can be a dangerous thing to associate with. We’re taught and conditioned to perceive perfectionism as a positive, something we should strive for, yet we’re not made aware of the consequences that can arise as a result of our apparent obligation to be perfect.
I’ve been diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD), which is not the same as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). OCPD refers to someone who obsesses over perfectionism, a psychiatrist explained to me. I was aware of my perfectionist tendencies before being formally diagnosed with OCPD, but since speaking with a psychiatrist about it, I’ve come to understand that being perfect really isn’t all that great.
Since I was officially told I’m a perfectionist, I’ve made a conscious effort to try to stop stressing over insignificant things. And it has helped me tremendously. Simply changing the ways in which I approach everyday activities by exercising a more relaxed mindset has allowed me to see how ridiculous it is to fixate on flaws, and instead focus on the bigger picture.
In an attempt to silence the perfectionist thoughts I have on a daily basis, I’ve refocused the energy I used to exert over trying to be perfect in everything I do. I try and use this energy to instead focus on things I may not have noticed before, and further to remind myself that life is far too short to try and be perfect. I cannot stress enough how significantly this has helped me, and it’s my hope that I can potentially assist someone else who struggles with perfectionism like myself. The pressure I once felt to be flawless is gone and has been replaced with optimism and gratitude.
If you believe yourself to be a perfectionist, I encourage you to broaden your mind and recognize what you’re missing when you’re obsessing over every last detail. We only get one shot at this thing called life, so why waste it?