Judgment for one, please…
As a psychologist focusing on perfectionism, the topic of judgment and personal development is a big one. For many perfectionists, it is not only what aspects of themselves (or others) they wish to improve, but the way they accomplish these goals also takes up a big chunk of their mental energy. Researching for the best products, the best methods, the best timing is a strong suit of the perfectionist because they tend to have the patience, faith, and perseverance that they will find the best answer to their question. Many aspects of life are decided analytically and less often intuitively. Perfectionists often compare themselves to their future versions, or to others who seem to have it all together and wonder if they will ever reach those standards. Change is not easy. Waiting for the change to be apparent is not easy.
Recognizing the minute changes seems ridiculous, even if there is so much effort put into making them happen. The faulty belief system is that it’s the end result that matters, not the process and progress it took to get there- there’s no patience for that part. That’s at the crux of the perfectionist ideology- you should be perfect, so noticing the process only reminds you of how imperfect you truly are. Along the way, there are a bunch of unmet and unrealistic expectations and judgments that muddle the clarity that they are getting closer to their goal. When you keep thinking “Well, I should have known better. This should be easier by now. I should have asked so and so for advice” you berate yourself in what is supposed to be a positive process of change, derailing or delaying the change in the making.
In the story of the Exodus from Egypt, the Jews crossed the Red Sea, to escape from slavery to freedom. They spent 40 years in the Sinai desert before they could even fathom stepping into the land of Israel. You would think, that after everything they went through, they would have a fast pass into Israel. And yet, years went by before they were ready for the next phase. This applies to many of our lives nowadays. As a perfectionist, when you change your perception that was ruled by fear of any kind, negative judgments, and self-sabotage, you are breaking free from the enslavement of anxiety. The process is scary in it itself. While you deconstruct old beliefs that were once powerful and dogmatic, simultaneously you build new beliefs that are just as powerful but flexible and free-flowing.
It takes time to imagine a life without constant judgment, fear, and agony. A time filled with experiences that challenge you to cross the divide and step into the desert with a new mindset and a new resolve to prepare you for an enjoyable life. But. There is no finish line because stepping into the promised land still comes with its own challenges. At times, you may feel like you’re repeating the same mistakes. But, if you take a look at everything you gave up to grow into who you truly are, you’d be amazed at all of that terrain you’ve covered. If you find yourself feeling like your perfectionism is your own worst enemy and keep getting stuck making positive and sustainable changes in your life, send me a message. I’d love to help.