Do you know anyone, a friend, family member, co-worker or acquaintance who considers himself or herself a perfectionist? If so, have you ever noticed that they seem somewhat edgy, on guard or perhaps demanding?
We live in a very competitive world and it is important to have high personal and professional standards. However, when a person’s standard or goal is perfection, they may not realize that they are setting themselves up to experience more frustration, anxiety, and disappointment than is necessary. The goal of perfection is unrealistic.
There is very little in life that is perfect. To be human is to be imperfect.
There is a tapestry in the United Nations building by a Belgian artist, who purposely put imperfections into the artwork to signify that we live in an imperfect world. There is no perfect person, no perfect relationship, no perfect job, no perfect house, the list is endless.
What is Perfectionism?
The dictionary definition of perfectionism is “a disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable.” Another definition could be “ a perfectionist expects themselves to be perfect, and others around them and events to be perfect.”
A perfectionist is constantly reaching for a goal that is always just a little beyond reach. That’s certainly setting oneself up for frustration and disappointment, and maybe unnecessary anxiety.
In her book, The Happiness Makeover, M. J. Ryan cites that “research has shown that perfectionists are less healthy, less happy, have less satisfying relationships, and even earn less than others.”
There are many “downsides” when a person seeks perfection as a goal. A perfectionist may avoid taking risks for fear that the outcome will not be perfect. This is a very limiting outlook and one looses the opportunity for learning from their mistakes and becomes “stuck”. It has often been said “no risk, no success.”
A person seeking the perfect relationship sabotages themselves from the beginning, as we know there is no “perfect relationship.”
Expecting others to do a perfect assignment or job is another pitfall of the perfectionist. This expectation can often trigger an anger/anxiety reaction from the perfectionist, creating intolerance that can be non-productive or hurtful in the workplace.
A reasonable solution to perfectionism is to replace the goal of perfection with a more realistic, attainable goal: excellence. In the Academy Awards they give the awards for “excellence” in acting etc., not perfection in acting.
Adopting the goal of excellence helps “take the edge off,” enabling a person to become more tolerant, understanding, and more solution oriented. The actor Michael J. Fox is quoted: “I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence I can reach for; perfection is God’s business.”
Replacing the goal of perfection with the goal of excellence enables a person to actually enjoy their work or activity more because they let go of the pressure of having to do the task or activity perfectly. The less pressure a person feels, the better they function, and the better they can concentrate.
Worrying about how events will go is yet another pitfall of the perfectionist. The goal of excellence enables a person to worry less and thus experience less of the anxiety or stress that worrying creates.
An unfortunate attitude that some perfectionists adopt is that they “have to be right.” They don’t realize that when they have to be right (at any cost) they make others have to be wrong. This is not a productive way to handle business or personal relationships and can create disharmony. The goal of excellence enables one to not always “have to be right.”
Hypnotherapy is an excellent modality to help the perfectionist replace that goal with a more realistic goal, excellence, that is achievable daily. The hypnotherapist guides the client into hypnosis (a hypersuggestable state of mind), while also guiding the client to relax their body. Then it is suggested to the client that they will replace the old goal with the goal of excellence, resulting in the experience of less anxiety, frustration and disappointment. This process enables the client to experience the change must faster than merely thinking about creating a change.
The really big payoff of letting go of perfectionism and adopting excellence as a life goal is that a person will become generally happier. Let’s remember that generally happier people who operate with peace of mind live longer, experience less stress and anxiety, and are more successful in their relationships and other endeavors.
About Eating Disorders
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by immoderate food restriction and irrational fear of gaining weight, as well as a distorted body self-perception. It typically involves excessive weight loss and usually occurs more in females than in males. Due to the fear of gaining weight, people with this disorder restrict the amount of food they consume.
Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by binge eating and purging, or consuming a large amount of food in a short amount of time followed by an attempt to rid oneself of the food consumed (purging), typically by vomiting, taking a laxative, diuretic, or stimulant, and/or excessive exercise, because of an extensive concern for body weight.
Eating overly large quantities of (often sugary) food on a regular basis. People often plan binges and carry out binge eating over a short period of time in private, with specially bought binge food. They feel they have no control over the binge eating and often feel disgusted or guilty after. Unlike people with bulimia, binge eaters do not make themselves sick after and often become overweight or obese. Men and women are affected equally by binge eating and it usually begins in later adulthood.
Selective Eating Disorder (SED)
Sufferers of SED have an inability to eat certain foods based on texture or aroma. "Safe" foods may be limited to certain food types and even specific brands. In some cases, afflicted individuals will exclude whole food groups, such as fruits or vegetables. Sometimes excluded foods can be refused based on color. Some may only like very hot or very cold food, or only very crunchy or hard-to-chew food, or very soft, or avoid sauces.
Most sufferers of SED will still maintain a healthy or normal body weight. There are no specific outward appearances associated with SED. Sufferers can experience physical gastrointestinal reactions to adverse foods such as retching, vomiting or gagging. Some studies have identified symptoms of social avoidance due to their eating habits. However, most do not desire to change their eating behaviours
What happens when you have an eating disorder?
There are different causes, symptoms and effects for different people and different disorders.
Anorexia can be caused by the way a person thinks, combined with pressure or expectation to be thin and further reinforced by a change in brain chemistry due to lack of a normal diet. People with anorexia are obsessed with being thin, usually believing they are 'fat', no matter how much weight they lose and believe that the thinner they are, the more other people will like them. Anorexia can lead to infertility, weakening of bones, kidney disease and heart failure, with about 5% dying from complications caused by malnutrition.
Some of the causes of bulimia include low self-esteem, stress, social pressure, depression, emotional problems, puberty, family environment and traumatic events. People with bulimia are extremely fearful pf putting on weight and set strict rules for dieting and exercising. When they fail, they enter a vicious cycle of bingeing, guilt and purging (through vomiting or laxatives). The effects of bulimia include dental problems (due to acid from vomiting), irregular periods and difficulty in becoming pregnant, poor skin and hair, tiredness, weakness, abnormal heart rhythms, kidney damage, fits, bowel and heart problems.
Binge eating can be caused by anxiety, stress, low self-esteem or confidence, reaction to specific events, anger, boredom, sadness, trying to lose weight, or as a way of coping with unhappiness and depression. Frequently people become trapped in a cycle of bingeing, guilt, restraint and bingeing and experience effects such as intolerance to hot and cold, stomach pains, headaches and sugar cravings. Binge eating often results in obesity which leads to joint and back pain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease, as well as shortening your life expectancy.
Selective Eating Disorder may be triggered by trauma or unpleasant memories, for example if something was eaten while hearing bad news or if someone was sick as a child after eating a certain food. Also SED can develop following a dislike of a food which escalates into a fear or aversion. People with SED may find it extremely difficult to socialise normally, being unable to eat out or with friends and often wanting to hide their 'fussy eating' from others. SED can cause dental problems from excessive sugar, significant worry and even depression. Long term, SED has serious health risks associated, including malnutrition.
Why choose hypnotherapy to overcome your eating disorder?
If you have an eating disorder, as well as choosing hypnotherapy to help you, it is essential you contact your GP for additional specialist advice.
I have helped many people remove the allergic response that their body has to certain substances. Even when the allergy is severe, the process I use can be successful. In fact, most Hypnotherapists know how easily an allergic response can be removed. They use these techniques all the time, with great success to help people overcome their allergies to foods, cats, dogs, pollen, grasses, and most other allergens.
Your brain is making a mistake. An allergic response is a reaction that your immune system has to certain substances. If you have a cat allergy, your brain believes that this is a life threatening substance and your immune system goes into action to fight the substance. Your immune system produces histamines which are trying to remove the offending substance- thinking that this substance is life threatening.
Here is the truth about your allergies. Your brain is triggered by this substance, sends the message to your immune system which goes into immediate attack mode. You dont have to actually be exposed to the substance. In most cases just seeing or thinking about the allergen starts to produce the response. In a hypnosis session, if the therapist suggests you are in a field of flowers, you will begin to produce histamines and start sneezing!
Your brain does have the ability to change. Hypnotherapy produces amazing changes in the subconscious mind... changes that often amaze doctors. We don't really understand how the subconscious mind makes these changes, but the best part is that it works, it is extremely safe and you will be breathing freely, with a clear head, bright eyes
Imagine how good you will feel if you no longer dread the blooming flowers of spring, or going into a house that has cats, or being susceptible to certain foods?
Contact me now to discuss how you can start being allergy free!
Remember what it was like to be kid, running around without a care in the world? Well, stop remembering and start embracing your inner child! Here are some ideas for reconnecting with the trusting, fun-loving and perceptive part of you that may just have disappeared under piles of hard work and life's trials.
1 Retry the things you loved doing as a kid. Such things include going to the playground, the toy aisle or a cartoon movie session.
2 Stop obsessing over the small things. Kids are carefree! Let go of worries and see if the world around you tumbles. You'll be surprised that it doesn't. And maybe you'll regain some clarity and perspective.
3 Kids are able to feel something intensely and then move on quickly from it. Try it. Feel what you feel without judging the feeling ("I shouldn't feel this way") so that you can move on from that feeling without holding onto it. It works!
4 If you have kids, do the stuff they like to do. Swing with them or trick-or-treat with them. Look at the world through their eyes. Build castles and mud highways with them. Get dirty, blow bubbles, toss balls over the neighbor's fence and fetch them back sheepishly. Jump rope and eat snack-sized puddings.
5 Stop obsessing over calories. Have a lollipop. Have a chocolate fudge coated something that looks so fattening it just screams "eat me". Run around madly afterwards as a kid would do and you'll soon burn off those calories!
6 Never say the phrase "I'm too old". Try "I'm in my middle youth" instead.
7 Turn everyday chores into something fun:
Paul believes hypnosis is empowering and life-changing. Look around the website and get in touch should you have any queries