Attention and recognition

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 Permalink

perfectionismYou may recall that a couple of months ago I undertook a blogging challenge compliments of a US blogger I follow, Tina from Faith, Fitness, Fun. The 30 days of self-love challenge required me to write about a number of pre-set topics (30, obviously). There were no prizes, no accolades. The ‘challenge’ part didn’t signify that you compete and win something; rather it referred to the emotional and mental challenge of writing about things that may be confronting and uncomfortable. (And possibly I added the ‘challenge’ part myself!) The themes themselves threw up a lot of issues for me and I got a lot of value from pondering on them, even if I don’t (yet) have all of the answers.

A local blogger, Liz, from Last Chance Training is currently undertaking the challenge and on the weekend I caught up on her posts, one of which resonated with me: the topic of ‘perfection’.

My own ‘Desiring perfection’ post goes on (and on) about my younger years and how I’d strived (and starved) for perfection. I end by saying that I don’t want to be ‘perfect’ any more; that I want to be ‘good enough’.

But reading Liz’s blog made me think about the topic again. I suspect I don’t desire perfection BUT I still have perfectionist behaviours and attitudes. On this weight loss program I wonder why ‘I’ haven’t lost as much weight as everyone else and probably berate myself for not being as committed as I should be. Again… I compare myself to others FAR too much. As Liz says in her post, there will always be someone better. At something. Or everything.  On the weekend, I also got a comment from a blogger (J) from 52 Weeks, 52 pounds, who suggested I consider the ‘continuous improvement’ approach rather than targetting perfection. Which made a LOT of sense.

What interested me most about Liz’s post however, was a comment she made about wanting to be ‘recognised’ for her achievements. This seriously resonated with me. Which – on one hand scares the shit out of me, because I wonder if I’m wanting it to ‘be all about me’ again!?!

Coco Chanel.But when I think about it, attention and recognition are basic human needs. I mean, logically, I know one person isn’t going to be the best AT EVERYTHING. As I’ve said in this blog before… I do realise that I can only be the best ME possible. For no one else can achieve that.

But… I wonder now, is my constant striving for perfection more about being congratulated, or acknowledged or recognised for my achievements – rather than the actual achievement itself. Possibly.

note to self (+5)Naturally, the over-analyser that I am now needs to wonder why this is. In my perfection post I talk about having an over-achieving big brother and perhaps (through no one’s fault) getting a little lost in the background. Perhaps my battle with anorexia was indeed about starving for attention. Does that matter anymore? I don’t think so.

I need to focus more on the NOW and what I need to do differently as I move forward. Work-wise, I have probably (on occasions) felt I hadn’t received the recognition I deserved – although I have chosen to work with (relatively) important people and organisations, but in support roles. In my current role, however, I feel valued and acknowledged. Which is a change.

Although I worry it will make me sound pathetic (okay, more so!), I wonder if my lack of importance in other peoples’ lives makes me feel a bit insignificant in my non-working life. Sure, I am a daughter and sister, and a friend and aunt; but I’m no one’s great love, or mother, or wife etc.

I’m not saying people don’t care whether I live or die, but (other than my parents), I’m not the centre of anyone’s universe. Which begs the question: should I be? Does one need to be loved in that way to feel important and valued, or to feel – at least – acknowledgd and noticed? God, I hope not.

10 Comments
  • Liz@LastChanceTraining
    September 13, 2011

    Hi Deb,
    Thanks for the mention! You know I don’t believe that you need to be the centre of anyone else’s Universe to feel important and valued, I really think that feeling important and valued is something that should be cultivated in yourself – which that “desiring perfection” post brought home to me – but crap, it’s not easy!

    xx

    • rockafellaskank
      September 13, 2011

      Liz

      That’s probably part of my problem. That I don’t feel ‘important and valued’ to me – or perhaps what I feel is mostly reflected back from others… and – are we more than those around us etc etc… Argh! Too many questions!

      Deb

  • Vikki (@shehascuteshoes)
    September 13, 2011

    There are some of us that are wired to feel we are loved the most when we are affirmed in words and others by other acts. It was only when I read a book called the 5 Love Languages that I started to see where my insane need to be affirmed came from. After I recognised it, it actually became less important although it still creeps up on me every now and then in a big way. I wonder how many of us who are battling this weight issue struggle with this lofty idea of perfectionism within ourselves and actually are dealing with anxiety too at the same time as a result? These are the things I ponder…..lol.

    Anyway. My goal this round is to go for consistency over being perfect at the program and setting myself up with a support network when I drop a size so that I don’t self sabotage and eat my way half way up again.

    Hope the rest of your world is settling down too.

    Vikki (FunSizeVikki)

    • rockafellaskank
      September 13, 2011

      Hi Vikki

      I will check out the book – thanks for the recommendation. But… as you said – you need to recognise these things and – hopefully – I am slowly getting there!

      Deb

  • J.
    September 13, 2011

    glad I could help!

    the desire for recognition of accomplishments is perfectly human. I know I badger my wife repeatedly fishing for compliments for work around the house until I feel I’ve been given my ‘due’. 🙂

    The same with love and feeling of importance. Again, as I’ve aged, I can see some glimmers of wisdom in those old adages like it’s tough for other people to love you if you don’t love yourself. Or more accurately, it’s tough to accept the love of others as genuine if you don’t love yourself and thus close yourself from it. And it’s tough to give genuine love as equals. I’m not a natural people person – and I can see my many failings in this area. I’ve missed on the strong points some people have brought to the table because I’ve closed them off for being weak at things I thought were more important.

    See – we all need a little work.

    • rockafellaskank
      September 13, 2011

      J – obviously some of your thoughts are resonating with me…. (Also like the ‘it’s tough for someone to love you if you don’t love yourself’!!!) You seem pretty self-aware. I like to think I’m getting there too and hope that results in some of the answers (even if I don’t have all of them yet).

      Thanks for your continued encouragement (and wisdom!).
      Deb

      • J.
        September 13, 2011

        I can’t take too much credit, much of this is out there, more about accepting it. As to being self-aware – GI Joe always said knowing is half the battle and I also once had a boss who used to say how can you fix something if you won’t admit what’s wrong with it in the first place. I am a pretty brutally honest person (err also see lack of people skills comment – most people do not want brutal honesty without some sugar and honey).

        • rockafellaskank
          September 13, 2011

          You’re right J. I ‘like’ to think I’m getting better at recognising my faults and owning up to them… I’ve still got a way to go in overcoming them though!!!

          Deb

  • Karen@WaistingTime
    September 13, 2011

    Interesting spin on perfectionism. Maybe the only person who needs to recognize what you do is… you:) I have struggled with my own perfectionism, but it comes from something else. I’m getting much better at letting things go. If I didn’t, I’d never publish a blog post!

    • rockafellaskank
      September 13, 2011

      Karen

      I’m like that with my other blog – I do draft after draft and EVENTUALLY publish. Then I put a link on my FB page (which I don’t do for this blog) but minutes later I experience self-doubt and wonder who the f*ck I think I am and delete the link…. Argh! I see it as my primary blog but I rarely post and no one ever reads it!

      Deb

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