Are you terrified of failure and mortified by mediocrity?
Do people tell you that you’re smart but you know that they’re delusional?
Does your worthiness depend on your achievements?
Are you spooked by success?
Welcome to the perplexing world of the rainforest mind. And to your constant companion–Perfectionism.
Here’s the thing. If you were really precocious as a child, you may have received lots of praise for your achievements. Which may have felt great at the time. But it also gave you the message that being smart was everything. Including the reason you were loved. Not helpful in the long run.
And if, in school, you didn’t have to study. You knew the material before it was taught. Then, you came to believe that smartness meant that learning always comes easily. Not helpful in the long run.
And if— Simple mistakes are total failures. You expect yourself to know how to do all things really really well. And you have very high standards that you never reach.
Then–You know that it will become clear to everyone in the multiverse that you aren’t so smart after all. You’re an impostor.
And yet–If it does, somehow, in spite of you, become clear to everyone in the multiverse that you ARE smart, well, that’s not the answer either. So much pressure to keep up the ruse. Way too much pressure.
What the heck do you do?
You procrastinate, of course. It’s the ideal plan. If you wait until the last minute and you don’t achieve greatness, you can blame it on the lack of time. And you dodge the humiliation bullet. For the moment.
What else do you do?
You don’t try anything if you aren’t guaranteed a win.
You’re paralyzed by the blank page.
You join the circus.
The truth: You thought this was all due to your neurotic obsessive-compulsive not-so-bright personhood. But now you know.
It’s your rainforest mind.
Note to blogEEs (formerly known as readers): There is a healthy kind of perfectionism. Tune in to a future post to find out more.