Ditch Per­fect

Learn to em­brace (some of) the chaos

Women's Health (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - By Dr Alice Boyes

You ar­rive at work an hour early on Mon­day so you can sani­tise your desk, empty your in­box and write your weekly team memo all be­fore cof­fee. Feel­ing sat­is­fied? Per­fec­tion­ism gets a bad rap – and jus­ti­fi­ably so, since it’s linked to prob­lems like eat­ing dis­or­ders, de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety. But when you’ve got some of the same traits as Bey­oncé, it can be tricky to dis­tin­guish prob­lem per­fec­tion­ism from pos­i­tive char­ac­ter­is­tics, like con­sci­en­tious­ness and en­durance. If you’re los­ing sleep over that ve­gan malva pud­ding for the of­fice morn­ing tea that didn’t quite turn out as planned, take our quiz to see if you’re healthily con­sci­en­tious or whether you’re tor­tur­ing your­self. Then learn how to har­ness your high-achiev­ing habits, with­out psych­ing your­self out.

Q1 HOW FAR IN AD­VANCE DO YOU AR­RIVE FOR AP­POINT­MENTS?

(A) Right on time. I’m not nor­mally late, but it does hap­pen now and then. (B) Typ­i­cally five to 15 min­utes early. (C) Some­times around 30 min­utes early so I’m not anx­ious about be­ing late.

2 YOUR FRIEND’S IN­VITED YOU TO JOIN HER HIPHOP CLASS, BUT BASED ON YOUR CHILD­HOOD BAL­LET FAILS, YOU RECKON YOU’RE LIKELY TO SUCK AT IT, HARD. WHAT DO YOU DO?

(A) Sign up and en­joy flail­ing around the dance floor. It doesn’t mat­ter if I’m not awe­some right away – I love the LOLs. (B) Turn up to class low-key in a hat and sun­glasses, but as I im­prove, it be­comes more fun. (C) If I’m not go­ing to kill it, why bother? Bet­ter not to sign up.

3 WHAT’S YOUR AP­PROACH TO LAUN­DRY AND DISH­WASH­ING?

(A) Get it done. I have a sys­tem, but if some­one of­fers, I’ll take the help. (B) It bugs me slightly if peo­ple are more re­laxed than I am about keep­ing house, but I’m not los­ing sleep over it. (C) I have stan­dards. I don’t let my part­ner or din­ner guests help out be­cause they won’t do it right.

4 SOME­ONE IN YOUR NET­WORK’S TWEET CON­TAINS “THERE” WHEN IT SHOULD BE “THEIR”. HOW DO YOU RE­ACT?

(A) Meh, mis­takes hap­pen. I take it as a re­minder to proof­read my tweets. (B) Of course I judge their slop­pi­ness, but I wouldn’t ac­tu­ally bring it up. (C) It se­ri­ously both­ers me. I’ve al­ready tweeted a cor­rec­tion.

5 YOU’VE COOKED DIN­NER FOR EIGHT MATES AND ASK YOUR FOODIE FRIEND FOR FEED­BACK. “AHHH-MAZ­ING, EX­CEPT ONE OF THE APPETISERS WAS A BIT TOO SALTY.” HOW DO YOU FEEL?

(A) Sat­is­fied. I make a men­tal note to use less salt in that recipe next time. (B) I hear the good, but feel a lit­tle hurt by the neg­a­tive com­ment, even though I ac­knowl­edge it’s true. (C) Dev­as­tated. I feel like the whole party was a to­tal fail.

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