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  • Amelia Gillis, LMHC

LITTLE MISS PERFECT


Dear Journal,

I'm worried my tendencies to get things right is overtaking my life. I always feel like I have to have it all together. I am afraid of making mistakes, fearing that those around me would leave or not accept me. I have been living life based upon what others think of me or want from me. I am slowly evolving into a robot, conforming to the ways and desires of others. I guess I would call myself a people pleaser. Many people have walked out of my life before so I figured it had to be because of something I was doing. It's almost like I'm lost in the identity of others. Who am I ? There were times where I changed my style or the way I spoke to fit in with the “Crowd” whether it was at work or church, or some social function. Yet, even that crowd changed up on me. I am always focused on making sure I do everything perfect. When working on a paper or preparing a presentation for work, I overanalyzed it through and through. Gosh, I spend countless hours trying to reach an expectation that seems almost impossible but I work my butt off. I get some things right, I guess, my house is spotless, nothing out of place. However, some say it's over the top. I guess it's because friends are over, if they move something out of place, my focus turns to restoring order. I feel like I am missing out on life. I haven’t been able to build and maintain solid relationships. I am always pondering on what I am not doing right and how I can try to be better in many areas. I am not sure if I am being obsessive, but it does take up a lot of mental space and time. Not to mention when I fail at a task, it's like I fall into this trap of isolation. No one knows what I am going through, I just smile and keep it moving hoping to get it right. Maybe I just want to be accepted and loved. I haven't quite figured out where this comes from. Am I missing something?

Signed,

Little Miss Perfect

Perfectionism can be a blessing and a curse. However, for Little Miss Perfect, it is a curse that runs her life. Just like her, many perfectionists are facing a mental prison sentence in which they are enslaved to a mental cell of bondage. Perfection becomes an unrealistic vicious cycle in which they believe being perfect is crucial, something they have to be. A lot of this is rooted in unresolved issues like abandonment, rejections, etc. Perfectionists ruminate about their limitations or what they perceive to be failure. Just like Little Miss Perfect, having the perfect house or being the perfect employee becomes top priority. They tend to try to fit in with a group that was never for them and when they aren’t accepted they tend to isolate themselves and criticize their value. They tend to then hold their value based upon the people in their lives instead of setting their own values and attracting those who respect and honor them. The issue with perfection is that it can lead to depression. The individual sets impossible expectations and when they can’t meet them, they become self-critical and isolated.

YOU CAN BREAK THE CYCLE

If you can relate to Little Miss Perfect, have no fear, you can break free from this mental prison sentence. There are many different interventions that can be used to help you cope with feelings of failure, obsessive need for perfection, and even your ruminations. Here are a few tips:

  1. Set realistic expectations

  2. Forgive yourself for mistakes you will make and have already made

  3. Discover your own self –value so that your value doesn’t change based upon how others perceive you

  4. Be patient with yourself

For any deep-rooted issues, make an appointment to see your local therapist. Don’t allow perfection to control your life.


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