Perfectionism vs. a Pandemic
Shea Barakatt, LCSW, LCDC, CAC – Clinical Director
In unsettling times in our world, such as now, I have recognized many behaviors and thought processes that do not work during similar periods of adjustment. Personally, I have noticed that my “perfectionism” has worked well in some situations and not so well in most. This January, as seasons turned and life happened, I set out to change some things. The two areas identified were changing jobs and adjusting to my only child’s journey transitioning from his senior year in high school to college life. I had my expectations, my plans, my designs, and “how I wanted things to turn out.”
Throughout my life, I have been aware of, and continually work on, the unfortunate agreement I made with myself long ago that “to be successful, you must be perfect.”
As I write this, I am laughing because I learned that the pandemic will win, make you adjust, and force you to be creative in an instant when no rules are in place. As a mental health professional, I did not take pandemic 101 in graduate school, and most of my colleagues did not either. I am learning that all of us have been doing our best to conform, adjust, and get creative. Like many of you, I treat people that struggle with these same self-defeating thought processes: the “all or nothing thinking,” the “black or white decision making,” and the “follow the rules or else” mentality. These thought processes can be detrimental to our mental health and functioning in life.
Individuals can develop increased anxiety, depression, and/or a decrease in overall functioning.
Even if it is as simple as wanting to let go of perfectionism amid a pandemic, help is available. Whether you decide to seek professional help or simply learn to lean on your community, there is no concern that is too big or small. Every person has had to adjust to something during these times, and owning our imperfections paves the way. I am honored to be a part of Team Origins, helping to pave that way.