How does one learn to become a perfectionist and overachiever? In my case, I learned in my childhood that being perfect was a way to stay safe and to avoid being criticized. That mode of thinking was further solidified by my six year career in the United States Navy. I’m pretty sure that most of my veteran friends would agree that being perfect is something you learn pretty damn quick in your first few weeks of the military experience.
It’s funny, but I never really realized that I was a perfectionist until I started being coached about my weight about 6 months ago. I always thought of myself as a high performer. I never consciously listened to the voice of “Perfect Girl” who was berating me for being lazy or not good enough. I didn’t realize that I was being a tyrant when someone was standing between me and a goal. I didn’t realize that I was constantly comparing myself to other successful people and judging myself for my faults. I didn’t realize that “Perfect Girl” would not let me say no when I really didn’t want to do something.
Perfectionists only focus on the end result while achievers enjoy the entire process. I want to be a healthy achiever; how about you?