It would seem that after successful graduation from school, the former high school student will always have success in everything. Most people believe that striving for excellence is the ideal of existence. But practice shows the opposite. Former ex-co-workers succeed in life, and the Pyatrochnikis are unable to build a successful career. Experts are looking for the root of the problem in the state, which in psychology is called excellent student syndrome or perfectionism.
Perfectionism involves setting too high standards, the implementation of which is achieved by incredible efforts. Perfectionists believe that anything that does not deserve an excellent assessment is unacceptable and that even minor flaws lead to a catastrophe. We understand why it is so difficult to live on the top five.
Learn to recognize high standards
If you suspect that your life problems are related to perfectionism, answer the following questions:
- Do people think that your reference points are prohibitive?
- Do you often feel frustrated, depressed, anxious or angry while working?
- Do your principles prevent you from fulfilling tasks on time, delegating responsibilities to other people?
- Do you redo work several times?
- Do you criticize yourself for a bad result?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, you are familiar with excellent student syndrome firsthand.
Perfectionists have the following behavioral concepts:
- Black and white thinking. Example: “Everything that is imperfect is a failure.”
- Catastrophic thinking. Example: “If colleagues notice my mistake, I will not survive the humiliation.”
- The probability of revaluation. Example: “Although I spent the whole night preparing for the presentation, it still needs some work,” “The boss will think that I’m a bad employee if I take a couple of sick days.”
Examples of Perfectionist Behavior
To properly deal with excellent student syndrome, you need to analyze the typical situations that it causes. Perhaps each of us at least once in his life faced with something similar. The danger arises when such problems become regular. For perfection it is characteristic:
- Chronic delay, difficulties in performing simple tasks. For example, you spend 3 hours on a task that takes others 20 minutes.
- Excessive check. For example, you check every email for spelling errors for a long time.
- The constant desire to improve things, re-tinkering with them.
- Drawing up carefully thought-out schedules of your own actions.
How to deal with the student syndrome
Changing perfectionist thinking
Since adults with a similar pattern of behavior are very critical of themselves, one of the ways to overcome it is to replace self-criticism or more realistic attitudes. Psychology recommends pronouncing such statements several times a day. At the same time, a mental habit is formed in the subconscious that displaces the negative inner monologue.
Here are a few examples of positive statements that will help overcome the excellent student syndrome:
- Nobody is perfect!
- A slip doesn’t mean I’m a loser. People tend to make mistakes.
- If something goes wrong with me, perhaps today is not my day.
- I don’t have to like everyone.
It is difficult for perfectionists to look at things from the perspective of a bystander. That is, they do not think about how others evaluate their actions. The ability to view the situation from the outside will help you get rid of this complex.
Expanding horizons of perception
Adult “honors pupils”, as a rule, get bogged down in nuances and worry about “a thousand trifles”, for example, which font to use in a letter. To effectively deal with the habit of thinking about unnecessary trifles, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is it really important to me?
- What is the worst case scenario if I miss this detail?
- If the worst happens, can I survive this?
- Will it matter tomorrow, next month, next year?
A useful tool to help combat black and white thinking is compromised tactics. It consists of a step-by-step reduction in high standards. For example, if you spend on preparing a presentation for 6 hours, gradually reduce the time to a reasonable limit (4, 3 hours, etc.)
Correct perfectionist behavior
Excellent student syndrome is in many ways similar to the phobia of making mistakes. The way that effectively fights such fears is called “exposure.” It lies in the fact that a person intentionally makes a mistake and learns by example that it is not as scary as it seemed. Here are a few examples to help you brainstorm perfectionism:
- Send an email with 1-2 errors.
- Do not check documents more than once.
- Make a speech at the meeting without prior preparation.
- Visit the new restaurant without reading reviews about it.
- Try living a day without scheduling work.
- Tell a friend about the unpleasant feelings that you have during work.
The most useful is to work out those negative moments that give you the most concern, so it is better to set tasks individually for each. The chosen technique should be practiced until you begin to feel more comfortable. Do not worry if your anxiety does not disappear immediately, this is normal. Try to repeat the exposure method as often as you can.
Sometimes it is difficult for a person with the excellent syndrome to understand how to lower their high standards to a more reasonable level. In such cases, it will be useful to seek advice from a loved one. Try to find out how much time he usually spends on the implementation of a particular case, and compare it with your indicators. The only condition: the person helping you should not be a perfectionist himself. This is not the case when you can deal with negative programs in a team unless you are led by an experienced psychologist.
Create realistic graphs
Breakbulk tasks into smaller steps. Make a work schedule with an indication of the purpose and deadline and try to fit into the allotted time. Do not postpone the case for later. Remember that the goal is to complete the task, not to make it perfect. If you do not have time, analyze what specifically prevented you from meeting the schedule. The answer is not difficult to guess: “The syndrome is an excellent student!”
Fighting your fears and changing ways of thinking is not an easy task. Constant restrictions generate stress, which must be able to remove. If you do everything right, you will begin to appear free time, which is best spent on entertainment. Reward yourself for the hard work with a couple of hours of relaxing massage, spa treatments or your favorite activity.