Make your Perfectionism Weep for Mercy! – Strategies for Stopping this Mindfuck in its tracks!

I was recently thinking about starting a collection of “mindfucks” ( pardon my French, but in this case the F word is entirely appropriate)  that we humans do to ourselves and start creating logical quick-response strategies for dismantling them and thereby empowering ourselves to get out of our own way when we are making positive changes in our life.

I am starting with – Perfectionism
which is one of the favorite MFs of intelligent people.

I say “intelligent” people because I have yet to have witnessed a stupid person that restricts themselves from doing things because they are afraid they will do it badly.  Why? Because stupid people do one of two things –

  1. Ignorantly imagine that everything they do is the right thing to do, no matter what.  Consider this – Do you think Donald Trump is a perfectionist? Sure, he may have high standards for OTHER people, but no one sets lower standards for their own behavior than the King of Bad Hair.
  2. Don’t care whether they do things well or not.

So Perfectionism remains in the realm of people who are intelligent enough to actually care about the quality of their work and how that work reflects their personal brand as a human being.

So if you find yourself being a victim of Perfectionism, take comfort at least, that you are in the company of millions of very intelligent people who are also in the habit of doing something cognitively idiotic with their brains!

WHAT?  Intelligent people, being stupid, how is this possible?

Well, even intelligent people have fears, and those fears come from our amygdala – which sends out alarm bells to the Hippocampus-  “Our Human is doing something NEW and DIFFERENT and UNFAMILIAR!  Do Something quick before we are caught in a NEW and DIFFERENT SITUATION where we have NO IDEA what to do next! Do whatever you can to STOP them, I don’t CARE HOW YOU DO IT – STOP THEM from venturing any further from OUR comfort zone!!!!!

This is the way we control our own brains so that we avoid doing things that our brain is fearful of – which is basically any sort of striving out of our comfort zone – which is more often than not BETTER for us than staying put in putt-putt no-go-ville, not doing much to change ourselves.

The reality is Perfectionism is an ENTIRELY imaginary construct and is ENTIRELY relative.  One person’s perfection is another person’s flop and vice versa.  I have seen time and time again, that my idea of Perfection was tyrannical and impossible to reach for the very reason that my BRAIN was doing EVERYTHING in its power to throw cognitive roadblocks to prevent me from taking on life challenges that made it fearful.

If you recognize the tendency for your brain to throw up cognitive alarm-bells NO MATTER WHAT KIND of CHANGE you want in your life, including the Perfectionism Paranoia … then you will be able to blast past your cognitive roadblocks.

Next time you have a Perfectionism attack – question yourself – Does this Perfectionism Paranoia serve my highest good, my striving to evolve into a stronger healthier person in body, spirit and mind or does it keep me in the same boring, stifling and aggravating place of NO-GROWTH?

That goes for all fears – We should demand that each fear justify its existence in your psyche – if it can’t give a logical and verifiable reason for existing in our consciousness – then if our fears fail the tests, we need to inform them fears that we won’t be needing their services any longer, and show them the door OUT of our psyche. Be forewarned they will put up a helluvah fight, so you may have to argue with them IN YOUR BRAIN for a moment or two.

Just because our brain THINKS a thing, doesn’t mean that thought is correct 

I wish this was taught in schools, but then if people were handed this truth in school, there would be no stopping them questioning authority, God Forbid!

The ability to discern what are productive and unproductive ideas, only comes with regular practice of discernment and judgement – not something that many people practice or know how to do.  Hence all sorts of stupidity goes prancing around the world as information or knowledge.

I am looking forward to using my Mental Jujitsu against Perfectionism Paranoia let me know if you have any luck with battling your Perfectionism Paranoia with this approach!

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3 thoughts on “Make your Perfectionism Weep for Mercy! – Strategies for Stopping this Mindfuck in its tracks!

  1. I love this line: “Just because our brain THINKS a thing, doesn’t mean that thought is correct.” How true that is!!

    I am a perfectionist type by personality (both Myers-Briggs INFJ and Enneagram 1w9), so I have lots of practice dealing with perfectionism. My two best tricks are:
    1. to treat everything like an experiment, where the only thing that matters is what I learn from the experiment (“perfect” really doesn’t apply)
    2. to side-step my self-critic’s perfectionist comments with “yeah, maybe so” and shrug
    For example,
    Brain: “That lousy attempt at ‘art’ you are working on will never be good enough for anyone.”
    Me: “Yeah, maybe so. (shrug) But I sure am having fun.”

    When I try to fight it, it fights back in a big way, and the criticism is worse. When I just shrug and essentially refuse to make perfect a criteria, it doesn’t know how to respond to that, so I can get back to work. (Wrote a post about it once (ages ago, in blog years): http://akintsugilife.com/2014/06/18/yeah-maybe-so-my-aikido-practice-of-the-mind/)

  2. “We should demand that each fear justify its existence in your psyche ” Yes, we should. Imagine how much time would be saved by not worrying about things that really don’t matter.

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