National Blog Posting Month – January 2014 – Pressure
Prompt – Do you feel pressure to be perfect? How much of it is tied to what you see online?
Another way to phrase the question is to ask, ‘Hey Penny! Are you a perfectionist?’
Uh, yeah. I’m a perfectionist.
I remember as a kid thinking that being ‘perfect’ was actually something one could attain. Part of this, I think, came from religion. I was raised Mormon (not that that’s really relevant), and like most Judeo-Christian religions, I was told that I was imperfect because I was already a sinner.
What a terrible thing to tell a kid. Really.
And I believed it, and tried not to be a sinner. But seriously, kids get in trouble. They make mistakes. They get yelled at. I got so down on myself for all those failures.
Whether that was the start of my anxiety, or just a result of it, I don’t know. Nevertheless, my life has always been a struggle to achieve perfection, and it’s only since I started treatment for anxiety that I’ve really been able to accept that perfection isn’t possible.
Yet somehow, I still expect it from myself.
I don’t know if the Internet has made that better or worse. Surely, trying to stay on top of my blog and all the goofy on-line things I do can be anxiety-provoking. But I do that to myself.
Teacher’s of religious doctrine have a bit to answer for. I’m with you on the anxiety and perfectionist challenge and it started, for me, in childhood. We spend our childhood being moulded by adults and spend the rest of our lives breaking out of the shackles.
I guess I should be a little cautious about religion’s role in my perfectionism. I think I was already an anxious kid, and when presented with the concept of perfection, I thought it was actually attainable. I wish someone would have told me back then that it wasn’t, and that failure to attain perfection wasn’t the end of the world.
It definitely seems like most of my adult life has been spent figuring out where things went wrong and what is really possible.