Perfectionism is Holding Us Back

Shuvo Shams
4 min readFeb 1, 2022

When I get into a class I feel like the stupidest person in there, turns out it's not true. I still have this feeling even after studying in many classrooms across the world, understanding very well that there are different study methods and none of them are perfect. As a student, it is a sin to take things personally.

To learn we have to make sure we are not getting offended by feeling stupid. Isn't that the point to feel awed, stupefied by new knowledge, to expand the mind into a new horizon. Yet when I am entering a classroom I feel so stupid. I also make sure I don't aim high because, in the end, I will fail. That is what I believe in. When I do however feel like I have done a good job I feel like it's all a sham and “They will find out how stupid I am”. The learning curve really makes me feel unworthy like many of us.

But it is not just education, work, relationships.

There is a learning curve to everything.

But it is not just a disservice to you but really arrogant if you think about it. If you have the so-called imposter syndrome it must also come from the stem that you are good at fooling people. But that is not true if you take everyone as a fool how is that respecting them or yourself, are you a conman?

I think much of this stems from the lack of confidence too. And there are myriads of factors why we cant get confidence, from people you meet all day to the way you were raised in a system of fear. If your motivation to work was to not get fired if your motivation to study is not to fail how do you think we will perform in such an environment. And yes they are environmentally induced and let me get this in your head it is not your fault!

These build very negative self-image within ourselves. We have to fight this self-image for the sake of ourselves to make sure we dont let the negative impact our lives.

The path to regaining confidence and getting away from imposter syndrome is a path to healing, it's a psycho-social change that is deliberate so being lazy won't work. And though this might not solve all issues I can from my endless hours of reading, listening to podcasts, attending classes give you some cues to how to break through that cycle of self deprecating behavior and build confidence.

First of all

Celebrate your best shot: give yourself small goals that you can achieve easily. And celebrate your best shot, not the outcome. The outcome and the feedback that comes with it might not be as expected, but you have to make sure you celebrate yourself giving your best shot. It doesn't have to be a big celebration. You can go to your favorite coffee shop, or buy yourself ice cream. Psychologists have proven again and again that treating ourselves positively after a positive outcome is good for building better habits. And yes confidence is a habit.

Protect your confidence: Self-confidence needs to be protected! The reason you might feel less confident throughout the day could be as close as your partner or your boss and some sneaky colleagues. Try to make a list of all the people you will meet all day, now divide them into positive and negative and try to spend less time with the negative ones and make more time for positive ones. By making a deliberate choice you can make sure throughout the day you keep your confidence protected and nurtured.

Have a goal: A goal of self-improvement will keep you going forward, Have a long time goal, imagine achieving it, take at least 30 seconds to a minute a day imagining the situation where you have reached your goal try to feel how it feels to reach that goal. This will give you a sense of purpose. We are all here for a reason and though it doesn't have to be grand it has to be clear. Clear goal is a clear way to happiness.

Own the situation: This might look scary and detrimental to our exercise but it is not. If you take responsibility for your action, you are improving your life, your growth isn't dependent on others. Remember the last point where we talked about setting a goal and imagining it for thirty seconds. If you take responsibility you'll slowly see the way to your success. And you will see things opening up to you in unexpected ways. It is never about the outcome again, but having a goal orientation will give you a sense of purpose. But here is the tricky part, being responsible doesn't automatically mean you can assign blame for your failure. That is a negative mindset. In the times you fail you have to remind yourself that you are a unique person, you're creative and hardworking. remind yourself every time you fail, it's a chance to come back stronger. Remember the outcome is not in your hands. Give yourself a pity break but set a timeline. Say to yourself by the next hour or next day(max) I will not feel pity about my failure.

Every great goal needs a clear plan: Have a plan think about the plan, it doesn't have to work out exactly but having a mental setup of the plan is preparation. It's like when you sit for an examination, you might read everything but the exam is not to test how you recall your ideas but how you understand them. Having a plan is just preparation for the test of life.

Embrace your imperfections: Be honest about your imperfections, own failures, and mistakes. Mistakes are feedback, learn from your mistake. And go back to the drawing board and articulate a path forward.

--

--

Shuvo Shams

Trying really hard to have one epiphany at a time in this dystopia.