Are You a Shouldaholic?
Normal perfectionists can strive for excellence without harm to their self-esteem. Neurotic perfectionists, or shouldaholics, will set unreasonably high expectations and then beat themselves up when they don’t achieve them.
A shouldaholic overuses the word ‘should’ by:
- setting high expectations (I “should” do this perfectly, easily, without help, etc.; At the same time, I “should also” be a great mother, wife and manager)
- measuring self-worth by accomplishment (I “should only” be proud, satisfied, etc. if I have done this by such and such an age, I am rich, I can afford to vacation every year)
- labelling self harshly for unmet expectations (I “should have” been able to do that, and because I wasn’t able to, I must be dumb, lazy, incompetent, a loser, etc.)
- having an all or nothing mentality (I “should always” “should never“…)
A shouldaholic prioritizes:
- results over price
- “perception of” over “authentic” self
- judgment over relationship
- control over reality
- has a biased filter with which to interpret the world
- creates stress through shame, blame, and guilt
- finds it difficult to celebrate successes or accept praise
- is susceptible to burnout
If this resonates with you, you may be a shouldaholic!
You Don’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Happy
A recovering shouldaholic assigns only ‘SUCCESS’ or ‘LEARNING OPPORTUNITY’ to each outcome.
A recovering shouldaholic prioritizes:
- improvement over perfection
- healthy boundaries over accomplishments
- relationships over expectations
- collaboration over winning
A recovering shouldaholic:
- adjusts expectations based on resources available
- does not define self-esteem based on outcomes
- practices non-violent communication when dealing with unmet needs
- develops values-based boundaries
Do you want to start your recovery journey from shouldaholicism?
Let’s discuss the barriers to achieving your goals and see if we are a good fit to work together. Can I help you?
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