Monday, March 17, 2008

PERFECTION - trying to get it right!

In my opinion, “perfection” is one of the most unattractive words in the dictionary. Why do I think this, you may ask? As a hypnotist, I see many of my clients carrying around this perfectionist thinking. This type of thinking typically started out in their childhood and now wreaks havoc in their adulthood. Some of these perfectionists are usually dealing with specific types of problems – OCD (minor issues), lack of confidence, strained relationships and procrastination. But after breaking down their situation, I discovered that either one or more of these type of behaviors was part of the underpinning of this problem—the pursuit of “perfection”.

OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is a compulsion to do it right every time – be it washing, cleaning, organizing or many other compulsive behaviors. However, daily life changes so much, this pursuit of getting it right is very frustrating and will drive a person senseless.

In their pursuit of perfection which almost never comes, one must continue doing one act over and over again until they feel that it is as should be. Fact is, this person doesn’t know when to stop because perfection never arrives. And let’s say for argument’s sake that perfection does arrive – the person is so confused and so entrenched into their compulsive behavior that they may miss their golden moment – perfection!

Confidence stems from completing tasks on a consistent basis and after that, moving on to bigger and brighter things. Perfectionists have a hard time completing tasks and moving on because they are too busy ‘trying’ to get it right.

Perfectionists take issue with their relationship because their mate is not perfect (in his or her look, their love for them, their cleanliness, etc), which eventually puts a muzzle on the relationship and causes divide.

Procrastination, or putting things off, has a perfectionist foundation. It takes valuable time to get things right – hours in certain cases. Sometimes, these perfectionists have so much to do; they know how much time and effort it takes to put into a task and putting it off seems to be the best answer until they feel they have sufficient time to devote to making it perfect. In a busy life with a tight schedule, ‘sufficient time’ is a rare thing to come by – thus the act of procrastinating often.

Another underlying factor with many perfectionists is control. They love to be in control – at all times. Psychologists, in their research in an Australian university, polled 252 participants and asked them questions like “I think of myself as either in control or out of control” and “I either get on very well with people or not at all.”

If the participants answered favorably to the questions of being in control, they were more likely to display the type of extreme perfectionism that lead to mental health problems.

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