Perfectionism Recovery Commandments: Letting go of perfectionism and gaining appreciation of oneself.
Many of us that suffer from eating disorders or are in recovery from anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder are well acquainted with perfectionism. We have harshly judged ourselves against others appearances or performances. We have maintained an idealized image of ourselves that has lead to unrealistic expectations of what we expect from ourselves and bitter disappointment in how we look and what we achieve. We have spent too much time trying to live up to the expectations of others, or at least what we think they expect from us. As perfectionists, all of this has resulted in the diminishment of our self esteem and self worth. The practice of perfectionism has taught us to drive ourselves relentlessly toward the goal with little to no compassion for ourselves. We end up seeking our value in external appearances, accomplishments and approval while finding we have become vacuously detached from our inner selves, feelings and needs.
Recovery from an eating disorder requires one to develop new thoughts and habits that nurture our health and well-being. Recovery requires the development of a conscience appreciation of ourselves as an entirely unique being who is deserving of self respect, self love and self compassion regardless of what we look like, what we achieve or the level of approval we feel from others. Pretty much the antithesis of the fear and approval seeking that typically drive perfectionism.
Consider implementing the Perfectionist Recovery Commandments into your plan of eating disorder recovery.
I. Thou shall be real.
II. Thou shall accept oneself.
III. Thou shall not try to be someone else.
IV. Thou shall not judge oneself harshly.
V. Thou shall respect oneself.
VI. Thou shall treat oneself with dignity.
VII. Thou shall not worry about what others think of oneself.
VIII. Thou shall be gentle and compassionate with oneself.
IX. Thou shall offer oneself unconditional love.
X. Thou shall not compare oneself with another’s strengths, attributes or performance.