Read this if you’re a perfectionist and always beat yourself up when things are not perfect (which means everytime!)

I’m a perfectionist.

And as far as I can remember, I’ve always been like that.

For example, when I was 5, I went back home with my first zero at an exam. I was inconsolable. It was like the end of the world.

Of course, with time I learned that bad grades at school don’t mean that I’m gonna live my life as a homeless begging for money in the streets. But back then, that’s what I thought.

I always had this desire to be that perfect girl

And what a perfect girl should have?

A perfect life.

Little did I know that nothing can ever be perfect in this world. And actually, I didn’t know that I needed to fail a lot before succeeding at anything, either in relationships or in my career.

So the first time I had a boyfriend, naive as I was, I thought we were going to stay forever together and have a happy ending like in Disney movies. Of course it didn’t end well. He cheated on me.

Although at that time it was a difficult experience, now I’m over it and I’m a better person because I learned from it.

There are good and bad things to be a perfectionist

Among the good things, I can list this:

  • You never settle down for less;
  • You’re always looking for ways to improve a process or yourself;
  • You learn from your mistakes;
  • You love challenges;

And if I have to state only one thing that I find frustrating in being a perfectionist is that I’m always beating myself up.

As soon as I succeed in a project, I’m already planning the next steps to make it even more perfect — which is stupid because perfection doesn’t exist, right? There will always be room for improvement.

But, even though I know it, I just can’t stop beating myself up and saying things like:

I could’ve done better.

I’m not good enough.

I should’ve said this.

Is there a solution to stop beating yourself up?

Recently, I realized that what made me unhappy is that I was dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.

I was having flashback of things that I could’ve done better and I would imagine whatever negative outcomes that my mind could think of.

But what if instead of thinking about the past or the future, you just appreciated the present moment?

The past is already gone, you cannot change anything. The best you can do about it is to learn from it and accept it as it is.

And the future is not there yet, you still can change it with a better outcome by taking action now.

I’m sure it’s not the first time you read this. Although I had read this many times, it’s only now that I understand the power of being present and not being lost somewhere between the past and the future.

Shyrwyn Clemente on FacebookShyrwyn Clemente on GoogleShyrwyn Clemente on InstagramShyrwyn Clemente on Pinterest
Storyteller on the road. Read Shyrwyn’s articles on her travel blog and on Medium.

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