Monday, 12 May 2014
The perfect non-perfectionist
On a train ride home yesterday, I found a magazine that someone had kindly discarded and read an article that got me thinking...
It was entitled, 'Research suggests perfectionism could be as bad for health as smoking - so discover your perfection-ality type and learn to embrace the F word (that's failure FYI.)
Now, as a smoker, and a perfectionist, I kinda thought, well, I am officially screwed. And the article didn't really give me much hope for changing.
I am, it would appear, a 'self-orientated perfectionist'. Which means I never feel like I'm good enough, I often don't try things in case I fail, I'm my own worst critic, and I have an endless 'to do' list.
Apparently, Gwyneth Paltrow shares these same personality flaws, so I'm not in entirely bad company. However, she is an Oscar winning actress, so I'm not entirely convinced this article is correct.
The other types of perfectionist are, an 'other-orientated perfectionist' and a 'socially prescribed perfectionist.'
The article then goes on to offer these wonderfully 'useful' bits of advice:
'Wear a top with a stain on it, when no-one notices, you will realise that other people aren't as aware of you as you think.' (Well, people probably would notice, but they would probably be too polite to say anything...)
'Write down the reason for your perfectionism' (If I knew that, I probably wouldn't be reading the article in the first place!)
It also states that perfectionists had a 51% greater risk of dying early, compared to non-perfectionist. Fantastic! What great news, thanks for telling me! I will now change my personality instantly overnight!
What the writer probably didn't consider when writing this tosh (oh I do love that word) is that all the perfectionists who read the article, probably now will be trying to be the worlds best non-perfectionist, and be perfect at doing that instead.
Which sounds a little confusing.
But being a self confessed perfectionist (although for years I didn't even realise that I was), I do know what I'm on about. Although this article hasn't practically helped me in any way, it has made me able to laugh at myself a little. And realise that I'm not the only control freak out there.....