Many years of my life have been spent eating Kit Kat bars in a very specific (and strange) manner, and not being able to go to bed at night without performing my bedtime regimes to the tee. However a year ago, I decided that this overly structured lifestyle was no way I wanted to live, and so I began taking strides to improve the quality of my life. One small step at a time, I started to distance myself from the horrors of perfectionism. My name is Kate Lewis, and I truly am a recovering perfectionist.
For me, despite the weird candy bar eating habits, being a perfectionist was about covering up the “flaws” in my life that I did not want anyone to know about. My biggest fear was disappointment and I would do anything in my capability to avoid it. However I now see that my perfectionist personality did not actually make me perfect, but instead brought about a whole lot of unnecessary pressure in my life.
To all my other fellow perfectionists out there (whether recovering or not), we are not alone (Rick Ross and Meek Mill even face the problem!). Despite it sometimes feeling like we are, perfectionism is actually a very common condition that many others face, and even to worse degrees. We live in a society filled with an image-obessed and overachievement culture. In a survey conducted by Yahoo and Seventeen magazine, it was recorded that 74% of women between the ages of 13 and 21 feel the pressure to be perfect. That sure is a lot of hormones to count. Penelope Trunk, cofounder of Quistic, and online community that serves to help individuals manage their career, goes as far as to saying that Perfectionism is a disease.
“To me, it’s a disorder, not unlike obsessive-compulsive disorder.” – Penelope Trunk
Being a perfectionist is stressful, and the repercussions of the disease haunt our minds throughout our daily lives. We drive ourselves crazy in order to reach a quality of life that is unattainable, yet more importantly unenjoyable. I don’t necessarily consider perfectionism to be a bad trait in one’s personality, however it most certainly brings about a battle with oneself that no one wants to fight. One’s quality of life can improve greatly when you let go of a lot of things, learning to enjoy life for what it is.
I have come a long way in this last year, striving each day to stay committed to my lifestyle change, but I still have a long way to go, learning and discovering ways in which I can let go of the inconvienient habit I have been “blessed” with. Unfortunately, once a perfectionist always a perfectionist, and I continue, and will continue, to find my perfectionism kick back in occasionally. However, I admit to having a problem, which truly is half the battle in itself.
In my journey of recovery, there are a few things I have kept in mind that have worked for me through the process. Check out seven quotes that I have used for inspiration to help me deal with my perfectionism: