In Pursuit of Perfection: The Links Between Addiction and Perfectionism
Most people realize they aren’t perfect, but you’ll find some people who think they need to become perfect to keep up their lifestyles or careers. This type of thinking sometimes works to bring achievement, though it could alienate business relationships when the perfectionist expects perfection from others. Science shows trying to maintain perfectionism can ultimately lead to becoming an addict. The psychology behind this is complex, but it’s worth investigating if you feel you or someone else keeps attempting perfectionism in everything.
Defining Exactly What Perfectionism Means
Those who strive to become perfectionists are the ones who frequently end up being overly stressed in life because of their demands. Those who become perfectionists frequently don’t realize they’re perfectionists. With this dangerous frame of mind, you can see the connection between being a perfectionist and general addiction. Most drug addicts and alcoholics don’t admit they have a problem either until experiencing intervention. Of course, being an addict can mean a lot of things beyond just drugs and alcohol. Some people are even addicted to exercise, which many thought was something positive at one time. Not adhering to moderation in everything is only going to bring deeper psychological troubles.
More on Linking Perfectionism With Addiction
Perfectionism can play a bigger role in many other addictions than generally thought. And perfectionism itself can be addictive. To show you the connection, wanting perfection often leads to persistent feelings of frustration, despair, shame, or guilt. Emotions like these are the most common ones leading to alcoholism.
Some other emotions that being a perfectionist might bring include:
- Feelings of unworthiness if you can’t get the results you’re attempting to achieve.
- Low self-esteem if you can’t properly process failure as being a positive.
- Dissatisfaction with yourself or others when expectations aren’t met.
All of these can lead to ruined relationships since you can’t become successful without getting along with other people. The cascading effect could lead to depressive feelings and still not understanding why it happened.
Past Feelings of Being Unloved or Making Mistakes
According to psychologists, the true trigger behind perfectionism comes from a person who felt they were unloved. These people also felt like they’ve made too many mistakes in life and need to stay perfect to achieve their future goals.
Once they realize that achieving perfectionism is impossible, they’re only going to feel unhappy all the time. Like addicts of drugs or alcohol, they may also push away people close to them because the latter can’t live up to demands. Instead, the perfectionist is going to turn to other people to expect perfectionism, only to become disappointed again.
The only way forward on tempering perfectionism is to look at achieving success a little differently. Many of the most successful people in the world didn’t do everything by themselves.
Finding Ways to Tame Your Perfectionism
If you realize your perfectionism is starting to inhibit your relationships and bogging down your success, it’s time to take proactive steps to avert your mindset.
First, you should start with celebrating any small accomplishments you achieve. These all add up over time, and taking things one step at a time can almost lead to a perfect solution for most challenges.
Setting more realistic goals is also important. Analyze every goal you have and see whether it’s truly realistic based on any analytics you use. The latter is a great tool to see projections and gain a better sense of reality.
Most importantly, don’t feel afraid to lean on others to help you achieve goals. Just look at Steve Jobs and how he consulted the best talent to help fulfill his lofty (and perfectionist) dreams.