I'm trying to figure out how I have made it this far along in recovery and not written about perfectionism. Just in the past week alone, I have caught myself multiple times thinking, "When I was in my eating disorder, I had to be perfect at that. Now that I'm in recovery, however, I constantly feel like I need to be perfect at recovering. It's like a no-win situation." Seeing that written out makes me realize how ridiculous that sounds, but those thoughts still weigh heavily in my mind.
Perfectionism is something that has haunted my every move for as long as I can remember. Those "not good enough" thoughts are in direct relation to this need to constantly excel. From what I have seen and learned, perfectionism is an extremely common trait among those of us with eating disorders. Instead of writing a novel about this subject (because I easily could), I found this quote that says everything I need to say about perfectionism.
"Assuming failure is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
When we’re already convinced that we’re going to fail,
we don’t try very hard.
And naturally, by putting in minimal effort,
whatever we’re trying to do or create isn’t going to turn out
as well as it could have had we believed in ourselves.
But instead of recognizing that,
we use it as proof that we’re inadequate and decide to give up —
making our fear of failure a reality.
In order to break that cycle,
we have to be okay with making mistakes and being imperfect.
Because the reality is that no one is perfect —
even the most talented people mess up.
And that’s okay.
Failing at something doesn’t mean making mistakes.
It doesn’t mean faltering or falling down.
It means staying down.
As long as you keep getting back up.
As long as you keep learning from your mistakes and making an effort,
you are never failing.
And if you’re having fun and enjoying yourself,
it doesn’t matter how good you are.
What matters it that you’re trying,
putting yourself out there,
and honoring what you’re passionate about.
All you can do is your best, and at the end of the day,