A glass half full is a glass that was previously empty and a glass half empty is the one that was previously full. One deserves optimism and the other pessimism. This is realism. Realism judges the glass by matching it’s current state with it’s initial state.
An egodystonic perfectionist is someone who craves for perfection in the heart but ends up abandoning his tasks because that perfection is simply unattainable. They have thought of the task’s finished product quite a lot. That product is perfect, and finished before the task is even started. They always start with the glass full. A full glass can never get any fuller. It will always get less full, no matter how well they perform, and so they would always be pessimistic towards that task. Had they started with an empty glass, the glass would always be somewhat full, and they’d be always happy.
Starting with an empty glass is the simplest key that could transform an egodystonic perfectionist to an egosyntonic one, thereby converting one’s greatest shackle to one’s greatest weapon. That’s when perfectionism starts sounding like a sweet word, all of a sudden, for the first time ever.
But how to do that?
Well, it requires one’s realization that what one is working upon is yet to be accomplished and is only a blank, imperfect, absurd canvas, and anything one does adds to that canvas. Everything adds to it, literally everything, no matter how little and how imperfect. That’s it. The idea is that simple. Comprehending it may be difficult at first, but once it gets up into our heads, everything starts to change. Not only our classical procrastination begins to fade, our existential troubles start getting solved.
Speaking of existential troubles, I used to be upset when I would think of death, or the absurd. But then I started appreciating that my initial state was death, and each moment I spent was adding something to that initially dead canvas. Nothing could be too depressing anymore. No failure. No imperfection.
Perhaps, shifting one’s focus from the ultimate state to the initial state is all that we, perfectionists, need to do to cure ourselves.