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Miss Wacky Offline
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Perfectionism (Not sure if this is the correct area to place this) - July 29th 2014, 11:18 PM

I want some help with an issue that has turned my life upside down more than once.

I'm a perfectionist, in the sense that I force myself to be the "perfect person" that everyone likes. It's hard to describe, but I try harder and harder and harder to do things at a quicker pace. Say I get a B on a test. My parents applaud me for a good grade, but I fall into a bout of depression. Loathing myself for not getting an A- at least, and harshly berating myself for missing and answer. In some cases, I hurt myself to try to make myself comprehend that failure equals a punishment, typically physical.

I've had meltdowns where I've felt as though my life is spiraling out of control. Usually these happen after I disappointed myself, or others, or I've been faced with an issue that I can't solve.

I want to stop hating myself when I can't be perfect, when I mess up. The question is, how do I?
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Re: Perfectionism (Not sure if this is the correct area to place this) - July 29th 2014, 11:57 PM

If you only knew how much like me you sound right now.

My therapist once told me that I have a fear of failure. Maybe the same is true for you. But, she also told me the importance of positive self talk. Of course, it may take a while to believe what you are saying to yourself, but it can actually be useful. In other words, replace the bad thoughts with the positive. I'll give you a few examples:

"I'm a failure" turns into "I tried my hardest" or "I know what to work on for next time."

"I'm disappointing others" turns into "The people around me appreciate any effort I make."

And she also tells me to point out my good qualities. It can be anything, physically or personality-related that is good about myself. Maybe you should do the same as well and remind yourself that all of these good qualities do NOT go away, regardless of what happens.

For the spiraling out of control feeling, sometimes you have to reminds yourself that a few Bs won't ruin your chances of succeeding in life. What matters is that you are a determined, hard working person, who always tries her best, which definitely seems to be the case here.

You can also write down or print out encouraging quotes or images that remind yourself that you are amazing, and to keep thinking positive.

You mentioned that you have harmed yourself over this before. I want you to let you know that harming yourself does not actually solve any of your problems. It actually makes the problems worse because now you have to worry about things such as the risk of infection or people you may not want knowing finding out. This is a link to a list of alternatives to self harm that you can try out. They're healthier, safer ways to cope. It may be useful if you find other ways to express your emotions as well, such as writing, art, or music.

Also remember to breathe. If you look online I am sure you can find a lot of breathing and muscle relaxation techniques that you can use to ground yourself in the moment.

And, RELAX. It can be easy to get into a pattern of constantly going without ever stopping, constantly doing things or worrying about something. RELAX and do something nice for yourself, you deserve it.


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Re: Perfectionism (Not sure if this is the correct area to place this) - July 30th 2014, 02:57 AM

Hi There,

I can relate to this in many ways. I believe I am a perfectionist myself and I fear failure as well. I however did not truly realize this about myself until about a couple of years ago. Prior to realizing that my breaking down into tears, giving up on things and other things such as SH to cope did not make sense to me. I had to this point let my fear of failure and false need for perfection take over to the point where I hate trying at things (and do not do as well as I could) because I spend all of my time worrying.
I am really glad you have realized what you have about yourself and that you want to make better choices so you can change. I hope you do not get as consumed with these things as I have because you deserve to be happy and confident.
Dez gave you suggestions I was thinking of and they are really great and I hope you find them useful.
Remember it is okay to make mistakes. We need to make mistakes to learn.
Hopefully this is helpful.
You can message me if you would like to talk to someone: I always have space for a PM or VM.

"i don't care your intentions. I just want you to know my self-hatred never took me where I wanted to go. At the end of the day...I can pick at the pain but I can't cut it away."
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