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‘I can really be tough on myself ‘: Even pop stars like Shakira deals with perfectionism

Type the word ‘perfectionism’ into Google and these are a few news stories you might find: ‘Perfectionistic trainees get greater grades, but at what cost?’, ‘Why organisations should turn down perfectionism in ‘2020 ‘, and ‘ Why is it so hard to alter perfectionism?” As a mental health issue, it’s being progressively spoken about; and when Shakira, one of the world’s greatest pop stars with 65 million Instagram fans, goes public about how it affects her, you know social media is welcoming it, too. ‘I can really be tough on myself wishing to be 100 percent perfect, ‘ which she exposed in a current interview. ‘There ‘ s always something that I wish would have been done differently which I might have done much better “.

‘Perfectionism, or obsessive-compulsive character condition (OCPD), as it is understood in the medical world, is categorised as a mental health disorder. You are unique and you do not compare to anybody on this earth. Sociologists and other concerned academics and social critics have typically put the spotlight on fashion publications and other forms of media. Social network is no different. Nobody is ‘best, and, in the words of Gloria Steinem, perfectionism is internalised oppression.



“Too often, this idea of perfect is pushed so far into our minds that we don’t realise to be human is actually to be imperfect to have flaws and embrace them. Don’t pressure yourself to have flawless skin! Embrace every little pimple, it’s hard but it’s all worth it”. (Ronke Raji, 2019) There is no such thing as a perfect human, on a good day on a bad day you are perfect, you’re the spitting image of perfection please never forget that.

As a psychological health issue, it ‘s being significantly discussed. And when Shakira (visualised), one of the world ‘ s greatest pop stars with 65 million Instagram fans, goes public about how it impacts her, you understand social media is embracing it, too Those impacted are exceedingly worried about orderliness, control and attention to detail, and the problem can overlap with other conditions, ranging from eating problems to obsessive-compulsive disorder, stress and anxiety, depression and suicide. The problem has reached epidemic percentages, according to a 2018 research study involving 40,000 trainees at universities in the UK, U.S. and Canada.

Those affected are exceedingly worried with orderliness, control and attention to information, and the issue can overlap with other conditions, varying from eating problems to obsessive-compulsive condition, anxiety, depression and suicide.

The problem has actually reached epidemic proportions, according to a 2018 study involving 40,000 students at universities in the UK, U.S. and Canada. The research study, led by Thomas Curran, a social and personality psychologist at the University of Bath, found that because 1989 there has been a 33 per cent increase in those who felt they should show perfection to protect approval.

However, at what point does perfectionism go from being a virtue to a problem? The answer lies in what drives it, suggests Chris Ward, the author of Less Perfect, More Delighted.

In his book, he explains that low self-confidence is the trigger for crossing the line into bothersome perfectionism: ”Attempting to accomplish excellence since you believe you”ll take pleasure in the journey or the reward is excellent, but attempting to achieve excellence due to the fact that you understand you are doing it to prove yourself great enough is where the separation is.’

‘ Perfectionism, or obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD ), as it is understood in the medical world, is classified as a mental health condition (file image)Ward ‘ s book gives an insight into the individual cost of a lifetime of enforcing difficult requirements both on the perfectionist and those around them. ‘ I ended up being a poisonous, controlling,’ requiring, unpleasant, always right, perfectionist moms and dad and partner, ‘ he states. Inside, however, he felt lonely, misunderstood, nervous that whatever needed to be ideal and concerned that anything could fail at any point. ” Perfectionists are difficult on themselves, as much as other people,’ he includes. Ward explains this characteristic frequently develops in youth, as a response to not feeling sufficient, normally as a result of perfectionist moms and dads (as in his case) or a circumstance the child has no control over, such as a divorce or death.

In an interview on the U.S. TV show 60 Minutes, Shakira connected her perfectionist streak to her daddy being declared bankrupt when she was a child.

Children are specifically vulnerable after divorce, as they attempt to develop order and control in an unstable environment, states Cary Cooper, a professor of organisational psychology and health at the University of Manchester.

He also states: ” Women getting in male-dominated professions or tasks may feel they need to be perfectionists, to prove to their male managers they can provide.’

‘ How to find a perfectionist employer – or partner

Does this describe you, your partner or manager? Here, Chris Ward determines some perfectionist characteristics.

The perfectionist employer

  • Seldom delegates, requiring managing everything.
  • Has severe attention to detail & help; and always remembers anything they asked you.
  • Is devoted to jobs at the expenditure of relationships.
  • Securely thinks their way is the only way.
  • Hardly ever provides employees compliments.
  • Does not have empathy about disease or lateness or ask for day of rests.

Perfectionist Parent

  • Continuously shows their kids how to do things much better.
  • Argumentative with partner (typically over parenting issues)
  • Imposes own high standards on children and constantly criticises them.
  • Constantly sidetracked (by a job or worry in their head).
  • Is stiff about guidelines.
  • Really competitive: may not be around for dinner most nights but exists every sports day.

Perfectionist Partner

  • Struggles to share feelings.
  • Can be brutally truthful.
  • Procrastinates and makes last-minute decisions.
  • Has ” all-or-nothing ‘ thinking (if they can” t commit the time to make it best, is not interested).
  • Righteousness about the way things need to be done.

Another factor in the increase in perfectionism might be social networks, recommends Teacher Cooper. ” Perfectionism is definitely connected to the social networks generation, where everyone portrays themselves as best: best way of life, best physical shape, finest social life through Instagram and Twitter.’

‘ Although Ward ‘ s own perfectionism initially made him fantastic success at work, marketing such brands as Comic Relief, in the end it became his undoing as he struggled to delegate and relinquish control, constantly winding up deep in information and working too late.

‘ As soon as, the day before a big pitch, I made some associates remain in the office with me all night to perfect the presentation,’ ‘ he recalls. ‘ My personnel knew I ‘ d lost the plot, that I” d lost sight of truth in a bid for the ideal pitch. Meanwhile I” d totally lost their regard.’

‘ Yet his perfectionism was at its most devastating at house, harming all his closest relationships, particularly with his 4 kids.

‘ I have argued and informed my children off for things that didn’t matter- for instance, arriving home late or purchasing everyone to ” keep this location tidy, please!’

‘ Ward can now see he invested his whole life trying to make his own perfectionist parents proud, but it took his father” s death to open ” the door to the end of my obsession”. Yet it would be another four years prior to Ward finally accepted he had an issue.

While investigating a book on achieving success without academic qualifications as he had done he encountered OCPD and realised: ” That ‘ s me ‘. Talking with victims and those impacted by their behaviour as well as therapy permitted him to create a 12-step process to managing perfectionism.

This consists of understanding what it is and what may have triggered it, and listing how it impacts your life. Is Ward cured? He thinks that you either are or aren” t a perfectionist, however by accepting who you are and with help from counselling its grip can be reduced.

Having experienced his children bombarded with pressures to be perfect, Ward is now battling versus the cult of excellence, and lodged a petition with the Marketing Requirement Authority to ban marketers from using the words ” perfect ‘ and ‘ perfection ‘. ‘ Marketers are causing children to think they reside in a world where perfection is anticipated or promised as standard,’ ‘ he states.

Ward states an important lesson he’s found out is that time invested with those you like matters more than excellence. ” I discovered that lesson late a lesson that can save countless squandered hours obsessing about achieving something that doesn’t exist.


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