When a close friend, boss, or colleague, or even a stranger criticizes the perfectionist, she can react in one of 2 ways:
- "He is right. I am a complete loser!"
- "He has no idea what he is talking about. What a loser."
How about listening to the comment and assessing its usefulness as objectively as possible? It is very difficult, but try to assume that the person has good intentions and does not want to hurt you. ask yourself: • Maybe that person truly believes that he is right? • If what she says is true, then how can I use it?
Instead of getting all defensive or blaming yourself, use the information to achieve a better result.
When someone criticizes you, it's because he may be tired or annoyed, and therefore concentrates on the negative. (In general, our brain is prone to negative evaluations.) Or, maybe he sincerely wants to help you to improve. Perhaps you remind him of someone from the past, and it affects your communication.
Therefore, when someone upsets you, remember that there can be various reasons for that. Try not to take someone else's negative feedback too personally. In most cases, it has nothing to do with you.
In psychology, forgiveness means the ability to stop feeling anger and resentment about what happened. To forgive yourself means to get rid of guilt and shame.
- Learning to forgive is extremely important for moving on because forgiveness eliminates the sense of "failure."
- Without forgiveness, we get stuck in the past.
- Forgiveness allows you to learn from what happened.
It doesn't mean that you must ignore and justify the incident or say that nothing terrible has happened.
It doesn't mean that someone can get away with it, or you can avoid responsibility. You don't have to put up with the situation or forget about it.
Forgiveness is not something you do for someone else. No one has to ask forgiveness in order for you to forgive.
Forgiveness means accepting what happened, no matter how hurtful it was. You are not trying to change what has already happened, you let go of anger, feelings of guilt, and shame.
You allow yourself to learn from the past and make positive changes in the present. In other words, you let go of the past, but use the experience for your own benefit. To forgive yourself and others is extremely important for personal growth. You cannot change the past, but you can influence the present and the future. You can choose to learn from your mistakes. Although it was a challenging situation, you can find something good in it. It made you stronger and more resilient.
Instead of saying "I refuse to feel sad" or "I will not accept failure," say "I do not like feeling sad, but I accept this emotion as natural" or "I dislike failure, but I accept the fact that some failure is inevitable" – it acknowledges the reality that we experience and observe.
Some people believe that human nature does not change, and we should not waste time and effort trying to modify it. Fashions, technology, landscape, and culture may all change, but human nature is a constant.
Human flaws are inevitable, and the best we can do is to accept our nature, its constraints, its imperfectability – and then optimize the outcome based on what we have.
The refusal to accept painful emotions is a rejection of our nature; it is the belief that human nature can be modified, improved, and perfected.
The Perfectionist seeks to eliminate painful emotions, prevent failure, and attain unrealistic levels of success.
The healthy thing is to recognize and accept that human nature has certain constraints. We have instincts, inclinations, and to make the most of our nature, we need to accept it for what it is.
The notion that we can enjoy unlimited success or live without emotional pain and failure may be an inspiring idea, but it is not a principle by which to lead our life since, in the long run, it leads to dissatisfaction and unhappiness.
If it is important for me to see myself as brave, I may refuse to accept that I sometimes feel fear; if I think of myself as generous, it may be hard for me to accept feelings of envy. But if I am to enjoy psychological health, I need first of all to accept that I feel the way I do. I need to respect reality.
Many people have been educated out of knowing what their feelings are. When they hated it, they were told it was only disliked. When they were afraid, they were told there was nothing to be afraid of. When they felt pain, they were advised to be brave and smile. We have never been told the truth – that hate is hate, that fear is fear.
When a child is in the midst of strong emotions, he cannot listen to anyone. He cannot accept advice or consolation, or constructive criticism. He wants us to understand him. A child's strong feelings do not disappear when we tell him, "It is not nice to feel that way," or when the parent tries to convince him that he "has no reason to feel that way." Strong feelings do not vanish by being banished; they do diminish in intensity and lose their sharp edges when the listener accepts them with sympathy and understanding. To dispel the sadness or anger, it is often enough to say, "I see that you are really sad about what just happened" or "It seems to me that you are really feeling angry." This statement holds true not only for children but also for adults.
If emotions are running high when we interact with our children, our partners, or anyone else, acknowledging the feelings that are present is often the best thing to do. It means holding in check the inclination to help, to preach, to teach, or to offer advice.
Of course, genuine acceptance of our feelings or others' feelings does not resolve everything. Nonetheless, acceptance is an important first step.
The antidote to perfectionism is acceptance of reality, of what is, be it failures, emotions, or success. When we do not accept failure, we avoid challenge and effort, and deprive ourselves of the opportunity to learn and develop; when we do not accept painful emotions, we end up ruminating on them obsessively – we magnify them and deny ourselves the possibility of serenity; and when we fail to accept, embrace, and appreciate success, then nothing we do has real meaning.
Acceptance, however, cannot on its own solve the problem of perfectionism, Expecting it to work miracles will only lead to further unhappiness. There is no quick-fix solution for dealing with perfectionism or with unhappiness in general. In our search for a happier life through acceptance, we inevitably experience much turmoil.
We cannot be perfectly accepting and thus perfectly serene. Eternal bliss and serenity exist only in dreams and magazines.
Why not just be a little easier on ourselves and accept that to fail and succeed is part of life? To experience fear, jealousy, anger, to be un-accepting of ourselves is simply, and perfectly, human.
All achievements come in a series of steps – people study for years, endure many failures, struggle, and experience ups and downs before they "make it." The music world is filled with so-called "overnight successes" who actually worked long and hard before they got their big break. But when we look at the end result, we discount the energy and time people invested to get there, And thus the achievement appears beyond our reach – the work of a superhuman genius., "By investigating how someone got somewhere, we are more likely to see the achievement as hard-won, and our own chances as more plausible.
This is the end of lesson 13. The next lesson is about dealing with anxiety.