13 Ugly Truths About Being a Perfectionist

1. It’s living with OCD. 

If you look down at my fingers, you’ll see cuts around every nail. I live with OCD, completely obsessed with picking at any imperfection, I see among my fingers. You’ll see bandaids because I’ll pick my fingers until they bleed. 

If you saw me every morning, you see the scabs on my lips, I cover with lipstick, because the only way to ease worries, as I over think things at night, is by picking. 

2. It’s being hypocritical and fixating upon flaws. 

If you saw me walk by a mirror, it wouldn’t be admiring my reflection, but rather fixated upon my flaws. In my mind, thinking everything that is wrong with me, and that I should improve on. It’s knowing every one of my flaws, so even if an enemy used it against me, it wouldn’t faze me, because perfectionists are their own worst enemy. 

3. It’s never being satisfied. 

If you could hear the thoughts that rush through my mind, it’s the voice of someone who is critical of myself and terribly insecure, for not being able to obtain perfection. 

4. It’s striving to be the best at everything. 

If you saw me on sports teams, both in high school in college, you wouldn’t know about the notebook in which I wrote down every mistake. You wouldn’t see the sprints I made myself do alone, as punishment. If you looked at me, you would have saw a leader, calm, cool, collected. But on the inside my greatest fear was losing. Failing. This fear triggered much success and many records broken. Perfectionists are coaches favorite players, because winning comes first in their eyes. 

If you saw me in the classroom, I was the one you’d want to cheat off of, the one whose hand was always raised. I was the one everyone hated for doing every assignment and reminding the teacher of it. I was the one who challenged points and wrote down every grade. But I never did these things to make someone else look bad, but rather to strive to be my best.  I was the one with an app, that told me with every entry, my GPA. I strived to be perfect in every aspect. But with that came the things you didn’t see, like being up until two, because I couldn’t sleep unless I mastered the material. I wouldn’t sleep if there was more to learn and more to do. I hated group projects and would insist on doing the entire thing myself, because the thought of relying on someone else terrified me. I was the one every librarian knew, because I was always there. 

5. It’s being a workaholic. 

If you saw me at work, you see me the first in the office and the last to leave. You’d see someone not trying to make others look bad, but my own self worth was defined by being number 1. Because if I’m not the best than what am I? The word average might as well be a curse word in my vocabulary. The concept of failing would leave me in tears. 

6. It’s trying to be perfect. 

It’s the pressure I put on myself and nearly having a nervous breakdown every week. It’s people joking, why don’t you slow down? But the truth is I didn’t know how. When you are constantly striving to be perfect, there is always time to be better. 

7. It’s the all or nothing approach.

It’s the approaching everything with this attitude go big or go home. And no matter how anyone tries to keep up with me, there’s no possible way anyone can. It’s biting off more than I can chew, just to see if I can handle the pressure. 

8. It’s procrastinating out of fear of failure. 

It’s procrastinating because more than doing something, I prolong it out of fear of failing. 

9. It’s having an end goal in mind. 

It’s a life of goal boards and to do lists and color coded calendars. It’s living through the motions, but forgetting to breathe. It’s not knowing how to relax, when you have an end goal in mind. 

10. It’s being terribly insecure. 

It’s hiding insecurities even though everyone thinks I have it all together. It’s breaking down in the privacy of my home, because I don’t want people to see you like this. 

11. It’s failing because no one is perfect. 

It’s that moment I fail at something and my world feels like it’s crashing down, because the perception in which everyone perceives me, is someone they strive to be like. No one wants to be like a failure. 

12. It’s being a person pleaser. 

It’s taking everything unbelievably personal and overthinking the littlest of details, even if it’s merely a conversation. It’s wanting everyone to like me, and trying harder if they don’t.

It’s seeking everyone’s approval and being disappointed, if I let someone down, so I say yes to everything.   

13. It’s being your own worst enemy. 

The reality of being a perfectionist, isn’t the life of someone who is perfect, but rather someone who strives to live a life that isn’t realistic. It’s striving for this image both in how I look and the life I lead, that nothing is ever wrong. 

The reality of being a perfectionist comes with failure, that breaks our heart and rejection we can’t handle. It comes secluding ourselves to obtain this imagine. The result in some cases comes with depression, anxiety, eating disorder, OCD and mood disorders. 

And no matter what you say, or how you compliment us, or how you praise us, the life of a perfectionist is that voice inside our own head telling us, no matter how hard you try, you’ll never be enough. 

It’s meeting that person, who counteracts all the things we hear in our head and crying because all we want is to believe them and see ourselves as they do. 

But no matter hard someone tries, there is no saving us from ourselves. 

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