Sharing my latest awareness on perfectionism


I am writing to share my most recent CTFAR breakthrus

I have been seeing a CBT therapist for 13 months. We have been doing a combination of mindfulness, learning about the brain (Dan Siegel, Jeffrey Schwartz), trauma release with EMDR, and thought evaluation. I finally had a breakthrough with him last week after peeling the layers.

My therapist finally saw it- I was finally able to reveal it-

I have a painful, painful case of perfectionism- its now being called pathological perfectionism in the industry- and practitioners are now just recognizing it as a major source of anxiety and depression and cognitive distortion (and suicide).

It’s tricky and I used to hide it. In fact I originally went to therapy so I could be more perfect.
The thoughts are “I MUST be brilliant” “Others MUST think I am brilliant” “I MUST do great things” “I MUST be respected” “I MUST achieve” “I MUST be productive” and to be really open here- this is the secret I revealed in therapy- I actually desperately needed to be a “genius”- that’s how deep this went into me

and the “or elses” are very painful – and now I have learned to cleanly recognize it as “or else I will be in great danger”.

I learned that perfectionism is a way meant to create safety.
I was trying to protect my desire to excel and do brilliant things.
I was trying to protect myself from being dismissed.
I was trying to protect myself from being shamed.
And then, if I did not make the mark, I allowed myself to think harmful thoughts, as a way to further protect myself, hurting myself before others could hurt me.

Phew.
I am so excited that I finally get this.

C-efforts toward work
hidden T- I MUST excel/be a genius or terrible things will happen to me
F- dread
A-slog thru things
R- mediocre work

C-efforts toward work
T- I get to be excited about work, achieve and follow my dreams, no matter what others think
F-excited
A- enthusiastically getting things done
R- get things done

C- failure/missing the mark
T- I am providing the inner safety for myself to allow myself to fail/miss the mark
T-I am providing the inner safety for myself to allow others to judge me however they will
T-I am learning not to judge others as I would prefer they not judge me
T-I am learning to allow the competitive nature of people in my work arena
T-I am learning to be OK with others judgments and criticisms of me
T-I am committed to pursuing my dreams no matter what