So I was thinking about the Monday Motivaion email and noticed all the feedback I got from that one specific topic, so I wanted to explore this one a little more. (If you’re not familiar with my Monday Motivation affirmations I got you covered at the end of this article.)
Are you a perfectionist?
Well, I already know the answer for me, but let’s first define what a perfectionist really is.
As defined by the American Psychological Association (APA)
n. the tendency to demand of others or of oneself an extremely high or even flawless level of performance, in excess of what is required by the situation. It is associated with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and other mental health problems. —perfectionist
Chile, now you know in pop culture they’re always talking about being a perfectionist. They make it seem like it’s the best thing in the world because some of our beloved people were/are considered perfectionist...
While, there’s a beauty beyond measure in being the best at your craft and what you do, there’s a very dangerous side to perfectionism.
Back to APA
“Socially prescribed perfectionism has an element of pressure combined with a sense of helplessness and hopelessness.”
Hewitt and Flett, Professors of Psychology
How is this relevant?
As a black woman, subconsciously, there is a deep need to have it all together. There’s a pressure placed on us by ourselves and others to do the impossible.
While we may be magic, we deserve some grace.
We have to take care of home, look the part, feel the part, carry the part. Shit, sometimes we even have to write the part. We’re constantly reinforced that our best isn’t good enough.
“Oh, you’re good but you’ll be even better when you get a husband.” (That’s family right there)
“Oh you’re popular, but you’ll be even better when you get to 1,000 followers.” (That’s social media nuts)
“Oh you’re fine, but you’ll be even finer as a size 8 than 10.” (That’s you talking to yourself sis)
“Oh you’re educated, but you’re not a doctor.” (That’s the folks around you that probably just don’t want to pay you for your services)
“Oh your clothes look nice, but you have a piece of lint on your skirt. (That’s my mama)
“Oh your shoes are nice, but they’re not red bottoms.” (That’s your so called friends looking in your pockets)
...The pressure of helplessness and hopelessness.
“I did everything right yesterday, but today I missed a task on my calendar, so I failed or I’m a failure.”
“I ate so good Monday and Tuesday, but Wednesday I ate terribly. I’m always going to be fat. I can’t do this.”
“Today, I got one new subscriber, but yesterday I lost two. This is pointless.”
Then you give up. You lose interest. You procrastinate. You beat yourself up.
You my friend are potentially a perfectionist or are struggling with perfectionism.
You may be asking, well how come I’m not as lit as Beyoncé? And I don’t have the answers for you on that one my girl, but what I can say is that we don’t see these people behind closed doors.
We see the make up, the glam, the success. We don’t see the process, the stress, the doubt, the fear, the drug abuse, the mental abuse, the aftermath!
Story time: ☕️
I have this huge fear of failure, right? So all throughout grade school, I never really applied myself to my fullest potential. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I could never really put my all into anything because of my fear of failure.
I thought failing at ANYTHING would break me and somehow meant that I was an overall failure.
(I know it’s crazy, right?)
All my life, folks told me I was smart, but my sisters are pretty smart so I never really thought that highly of my intelligence level. So one day I decided to put my “smartness” to the rest. (Sheesh!)
While studying to get my master’s in psych, I aimed to get a 4.0 (why didn’t I just say I wanted to do well, I don’t know. I’m an extremist too) so I did everything I could to get a 4.0.
It was one of the most stressful times of my life. My anxiety levels were on 10, I was having nightmares about getting Bs, I couldn’t sleep, I checked my grades excessively. I was acting so stupid, my gosh!
I remember my old roommate’s boyfriend telling my roomie that he was worried about me because I was looking so crazy and listening to Boosie excessively on repeat to calm my nerves.
And guess what…I achieved that damn 4.0, but at what cost?
The following year my ass was in therapy bc my anxiety was out of control. I didn’t have any friends partly because school was my life. And the killer part was when I finally actually achieved the damn 4.0, the hype was short lived. I was on to the next mission of perfection that was either going to make or break my temporary boosts of esteem.
What’s the point of this?
The point is: Perfection is unattainable. It’s not real. It’s not fun.
You may have burned that pot of food and now you feel like you can’t do anything right. Stop it!
Your brows may look like sisters instead of twins. It’s okay, love!
You may be going through a season where it feels like nothing is going right so now it means that you’re not right. Cut it out!
How hard are you on yourself?
How often do you shut down on new projects and/or tasks?
Is your self-esteem determined by your success?
Do you beat yourself up harshly for making simple mistakes?
Do you undercompensate or possibly overcompensate out of fear of failure?
Are you a perfectionist, sis?
Working smart is dope, but perfectionism will lead you to being on dope!
(That was corny af, haha)
Keep Rockin’ with Me,
Sissss, Dating in 2020+ is back on its new home, Youtube. We’re going to be talking about all the ushy and gushy, so be prepared! Catch up on the missed episodes in my link below.
PTSD is real! Last year was A LOT. Nobody is judging anyone for needing to have someone to talk about it with, who can listen without judgement, help you move through it with goals, and bond to secrecy. If that’s you, sis, click the link below and check out my special offer AND start receiving my Monday Motivation affirmations.