perfectionalism

We praise people for being “naturally” smart, too, “naturally” athletic, and etc. But studies continue to show, as they have for some time now, that it is generally healthier to praise schoolchildren for being hardworking, than for being naturally gifted. We know now that to emphasize a child’s inherent ability places pressure on that child to continue to be accidentally talented, which is something that is hard for anyone to control. When the children who are applauded for their natural skills fail, they are shown to take the failure very personally. After all, the process of their success has always seemed mysterious and basic and inseparable from the rest of their identity, so it must be they who are failing as whole people. When students are instead complimented and rewarded for their effort and improvement, they tend to not be so hard on themselves. When they fail, they reason, “Well, I’ll work harder next time.” They learn that they are capable of success, rather than constantly automatically deserving of it, and they learn simultaneously that they are bigger and more complex than their individual successes or failures.
—  Kate of Eat the Damn Cake, The Stupidity of “Natural” Beauty (x)
Perfectionism is a self destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, live perfect, and work perfect, I can avoid or minimize criticism, blame and ridicule, the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame. All perfectionism is, is the 20-ton shield that we carry around hoping that it will keep us from being hurt
—  Brene Brown
Perfectionism: Making Yourself Sick

“Perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order.” – Anne Wilson Schaef

“Perfectionist”. We’ve all heard the word.

But what does being a perfectionist mean?

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zodiac stereotypes for amateurs
  • aries:those hardcore personal fitness trainers on TV who need to calm the fuck down.
  • taurus:loyal and sensitive but REALLY REALLY STUBBORN...blah blah blah also FOOD.
  • gemini:busy, social, intelligent...would be completely perfect if they weren't so shallow.
  • cancer:eats nutella straight from the jar as they watch the notebook and cry.
  • leo:*beyonce voice* i'mma a diva, i'mma i'mma a diva, i'mma i'mma a diva, i'mma i'mma a diva
  • virgo:a weird combination of perfectionism, pretentious douchebaggery and indie music.
  • libra:boring. perfect in every way. let's face it perfection is boring.
  • scorpio:fuckin intense motherfuckers who everyone wants to fuck, angry sex addicts who daydream about murder while secretly being massive dorks at the same time.
  • sagittarius:those ppl who write sad poetry and title it "3am ramblings" and edit love quotes over scenery and have random philosophical outbursts about cheese.
  • capricorn:devoid of all emotions except for self-pity and GREED.
  • aquarius:sociology majors with no souls.
  • pisces:little fishies in teh sea who never harm a soul and are nice 2 everyone but always get fished out and eaten in the end.
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@ TD Garden, Boston | 07/03/2012

“When I was twenty-one, I had my tonsils removed. I was one of those people who got strep throat every few minutes, and my doctor finally decided that I needed to have my tonsils taken out. For the entire week afterward, swallowing hurt so much that I could barely open my mouth for a straw. I had a prescription for painkillers, though, and when they ran out but the pain hadn’t, I called the nurse and said that she would really need to send another prescription over, and maybe a little mixed grill of drugs because I was also feeling somewhat anxious. But she wouldn’t. I asked to speak to her supervisor. She told me her supervisor was at lunch and that I needed to buy some gum, of all things, and to chew it vigorously—the thought of which made me clutch at my throat. She explained that when we have a wound in our body, the nearby muscles cramp around it to protect it from any more violation and from infection, and that I would need to use these muscles if I wanted them to relax again. So finally my best friend Pammy went out and bought me some gum, and I began to chew it, with great hostility and skepticism. The first bites caused a ripping sensation in the back of my throat, but within minutes all the pain was gone, permanently.

I think that something similar happens with our psychic muscles. They cramp around our wounds—the pain from our childhood, the losses and disappointments of adulthood, the humiliations suffered in both—to keep us from getting hurt in the same place again, to keep foreign substances out. So those wounds never have a chance to heal. Perfectionism is one way our muscles cramp. In some cases we don’t even know that the wounds and the cramping are there, but both limit us. They keep us moving and writing in tight, worried ways. They keep us standing back or backing away from life, keep us from experiencing life in a naked and immediate way.”

— Anne Lamott, “Perfectionism,” Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

gentle reminder that failure is a vital part of any learning process and is not something to be ashamed of

not-so-gentle reminder to stop romanticizing perfectionism. being the best is cool and all, but true success can only be achieved when you put yourself first