You're racing and racing in your mind: I have to get an A on my next exam, I can't fall behind in my work, why did I agree to the last minute additional slides for tomorrow's meeting, I keep failing, I'm going to my 4th fundraiser this month, I'm never good enough, get the kids to their sports practices early today - oh, and don't forget the team snacks I volunteered.
Today will be yet another day with no rest and constant stress. And as tired and overwhelming as it all is, the push forward and the desire to achieve is too strong to stop moving. Panic attacks begin, tears feel nonstop, and worthlessness sets in. Saying no however, is not an option; neither is failing. "With all of these tasks completed, I'll finally feel better about myself. I'll show that I'm good enough." But when the next day arrives, another to do list presents itself and there's no relief in sight.
Perfectionism is exhausting - and unachievable. Letting go of perfectionist tendencies requires the understanding of its purpose. What is it serving? What do you get out of being a perfectionist? Why can't you say no? Although it sounds strange, we all derive feelings and purpose from even unhealthy habits.
What does perfectionism serve in your life?
- How is it helpful?
- Are you afraid to fail?
- Do you feel unsure about who you are? Do you define yourself by your achievements?
- Do you feel worthless or unlovable? Will others like or love you if you overachieve?
The constant desire to achieve can feel exhausting, unrelenting, and overwhelming. Understanding its purpose can lead to moving beyond the fatigue. And working through the underlying cause can lead to long term healing. Concentrate on your underlying feelings that cause you to overachieve. Not only will you begin to approach tasks in a healthier way, but you will feel less stress and worry overall.