Working with perfectionism

During my latest CBT we also discussed how perfectionism gets in the way of my job. I want everything to be done my way (which is correct!) and so take on too much myself rather than delegating like I am meant to. I know that they won’t do something my way and it grates on me when it’s wrong. My therapist suggested this could also be linked to a heightened sense of responsibility. I guess that is true. Like how I just randomly start cleaning in our office. If I don’t then who will (even though my colleague does it randomly too!).

If I want to move from junior management to management then I am going to learn how to let other people do things even when I feel they aren’t done my way. My therapist suggested I start doing that at work because there are obvious benefits to tackling my perfectionism at work – getting promoted or doing my work faster because I don’t have to make sure all of my letters are joined up when I write. Then I can start looking at my perfectionism at home!

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Hello Jen

Last nights CBT session was very interesting. We discussed my progress and I realised how well I am doing. It is like my eyes are opening or the cloud is disappearing and i can finally see straight. I feel like I am starting to know who I am again for the first time in years (think that is also due to the intro of 90s pop music comeback through The Big Reunion!)

One thing that was worrying me though was how I’m becoming more aware of real dirt around me like dust on our ceiling. I asked my therapist if she thought that meant my OCD was just shifting. She asked me how I feel when I see that dirt. Do I need to clean it straight away and am filled with anxiety or do I just get annoyed that it’s there? My answer was the later. She asked me what I would have done previously (before CBT) when seeing that dirt. I answered that I probably wouldn’t have seen it or would have made my husband clean it. she felt that I had been blocking out things that weren’t perfectly clean so seeing them and doing something about them is a good thing. I have also noticed I am doing more things around symmetry but I am now trying to stop myself when I do that.

We then went on to discuss what would be so bad about the dust being left on my ceiling. When I answered that people would see me as a slob, she said she thought I’d say that. So she asked me why I think people would think that of me when there is clear evidence that I’m an extremely tidy person. This made me realise it’s about my childhood and wanting to be as good as the other kids. Plus loosing two BFFs over the years just because they decided not to be friends with me anymore. I never found the reason why they turned on me so I can only assume it was because I wasn’t good enough. I actually feel quite emotional writing that as it is a truth so deep down. I now lack friends my age (my friends are all at least 10 years older) and I seem to struggle to make friends. So I can only assume I am a horrible or geeky person that no one wants to be friends with. Hmmmm this seems to have ended on a bit of a negative note :-9