Are you a perfectionist?
If you are, you aren’t alone!
It’s a topic that comes up a lot with clients and course members.
There are a number of reasons why ADHDers aim for perfection.
- When you were young you wanted to avoid criticism, so you figured, “hey, if I am perfect, then there won’t be anything to criticize.” And it’s been ingrained in you ever since.
- It helps you feel in control because life with ADHD can feel a bit chaotic.
- Problems with executive functions mean that your ability to match your time and effort with the value of the task doesn’t kick in. As a result, every task is weighted the same and the only end point is perfection.
A helpful mantra for ADHD perfectionists to use is:
Done is better than perfect.
After all, it’s better to hand in an assignment and get 80%, than miss a night’s sleep making improvements to get 100%. Then, still not satisfied, miss the deadline and end up getting 0%.
You might not be in school, but I bet you have a version of this playing out in your life right now.
When you are aiming for perfect, something else happens.
You are constantly stopping yourself from doing the things you want to do.
1. You want to fold and put your laundry away. However, the folding technique that makes your clothes look like they do in The Gap store takes time and energy.
So, you put the task off.
The laundry stays in pile on the floor all week and you hunt through it whenever you need something to wear.
2. You wanted to organize your favourite recipes in one place so they are easy to find. You found a nice notebook and feel excited at the project.
But then the thought of trying to find the perfect pen and using your best handwriting makes you not want to start.
Two years later, before every meal the hunt is still on to find the recipe.
When you repeatedly stall like this, it stops the flow of life.
- Even a small fun project, becomes ‘big’ and more like work. Over time this builds up and it can feel like
- You never have enough time to do everything
- Life seems like it’s all work and no fun
- Tasks take you longer than other people
- You are falling behind in life compared to your friends.
Next time you need find yourself trying to be perfect, say the mantra:
Done is better than perfect
or a variation that an Essentially Brilliant member uses is
Better half ass than not at all 🙂
If you are finding that ADHD perfectionism is stopping you moving forwards in life, the group coaching program Essentially Brilliant: The Step by Step ADHD Friendly System to Create a Productive and Organized Life One Day at a Time can help.
In Module 2 Feeling Accomplished, there is a lesson all about what to do if you feel tasks take longer for you than other people.
In Module 6 Ta Da. Your anti-procrastination plan, there are lots of lessons will all help you!
- How to take action even if you don’t feel like it
- What do to if a task makes you feel overwhelmed or anxious
- What to do if a task has become really large in your mind
- How to catch up on a backlog of tasks you have been procrastinating on
Plus, you can get your individual perfectionist challenges addressed in the group coaching calls.
Not a member yet?
You can enroll here.>>>>>> Essentially Brilliant