I think the price for perfectionism is the pain that you experience when you don’t reach the level of perfection that you hoped to.
I watched this episode of Australian Story on Monday night (as recommended by my mother-in-law) as part of the ABC’s Mental As program this week.
It struck so many cords of similarity in my own way of thinking. Garry McDonald talks about perfectionism and using CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) as a way of managing the thoughts in your head. I have, and continue, to use this process when I’m in a fog.
Take today for instance. I am smiling and social. It is after all Wednesday – and I’ve just finished my Wednesday coffee catch up at my place. It has become a tradition that on Wednesday morning after school drop off, a group of friends will pop into my place to enjoy a home made coffee on my sparkling machine.
I love it. I love that it isn’t always the same group, depending on prior arrangements, but that everyone sits and chats. It gives me that social catchup I need in my week. Otherwise I don’t think I would see anyone except for drop off and pick up times. And sometimes, I just want to get home – to my safety net.
But now that everyone has gone, I’m alone with my fog. I am tired, after a restless night with the 4 year old, and it is compounding on my lack of focus and will power.
So now comes the tough part. I have to challenge my thoughts. It is almost like I have to talk back to my brain.
Brain: No one will care if you lie down on the lounge all day today.
Me: I have to work.
Brain: No you don’t. Your hopeless at it anyway.
Me: No, I have to write my post first.
Brain: Then lie down and do nothing.
Me: I could, but then I’ll end up behind in my work. And I will feel worse.
Me: No it is not perfect. I don’t want to feel worse.
Brain: I can make you feel worse.
Me: Shut up. I’m putting some music on to drown you out.
And now I’m distracting myself by listening to one of my playlists on Spotify. It is upbeat and gets me wanting to dance. I’ve turned it up loud enough to only be able to hear ‘Me’ and not ‘Brain’.
Here it is if you want a listen and need to drown out the voices, or as I call them – the monsters in my head
I would love to know what you use as your own distraction…