Tag Archives: gift

Excellence VS Perfectionism

OCPD perfectionism originates from a good place, excellence.

When you have excellence in a particular area in your life, you will naturally have higher standards in that area. Maybe you’ve got excellence in cleanliness. Maybe you’ve got excellence in morals. I have excellence in story telling.

What this means is that you have a clearer picture in your head of how amazing things could be. You see all the small details that make up that beautiful end result. Your mind downloads all these strategies on how to produce that end result. It’s not easy bringing things up to your high standards. So naturally, you’re a very hard worker in this area. And when your vision of excellence comes to life, it fills your heart with excitement and other people also go “Wow!” Excellence is an amazing quality to have and it can really bring a lot of positive changes to the world.

It does come with some challenges though. If in your head it is so clear that things could be much better, there is a gap between how things are and how things could be. The existence of this gap can be quite emotionally disturbing. When children first experience this, their natural instinct is to remove this disturbing feeling right away. “I don’t like how this feels. I need to find a way to make it go away.” So what many children will attempt to do is close this gap, not by bringing their bar down – because you cannot unsee the excellence that has already been implanted into your head – but instead, by bringing how things currently are up.

Now on the outside, this is going to look quite promising. You’ll see that your child is working very hard. You might be like, “Wow, my child already has such great work ethic!” But it is very possible that, underneath it all, anger and frustration may be beginning to well up inside of him because, no matter how hard he tries, it seems like that gap just won’t go away. This anger may grow until it causes the child to finally explode. By this point, the child decides that it’s just not worth it to keep going. He gives himself immediate gratification in the removal of this discomfort.

Immediate gratification is not good in the long run. By doing this, this child foregoes his opportunity to build up his tolerance for this discomfort. So if he continues to do this throughout his life and no parent or teacher stops him, he may grow up to be an adult who is equally incapable of handling this difficult emotion as his child-self. It will overwhelm him and cause him to have an all-or-nothing approach to his work. This is called perfectionism.

Perfectionism is the dark side of excellence. Rather than being pulled by your love for excellence, you’re pushed by your anxiety and displeasure of that “gap.” There is no grace. No room for error. Along the way, there’s so much stress and frustration. Perfectionism is so outcome focused that you are likely to antagonize yourself and everything else that seems to get in your way of removing that gap. So perfectionists often get angry at others. And even when perfectionists get their way, their satisfaction is very short-lived. It lasts just until another “gap” reappears.

Highly sensitive people and gifted children and adults are most likely to be affected by this.

If you want to set your children up for success, help your children experience delayed gratification. When their anger begins to boil inside of them, help them calm down. Show understanding of this frustration that they feel. Encourage them to invest their time into activities that will help them achieve their vision of excellence, such as practice. And encourage them to return back to their work, try and try again, and think positively all the way through.

If you’re an adult who struggles with perfectionism, push yourself to do the same thing too. It’s never too late.

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Big Update

Hello everyone! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sorry, it’s been a long time since I last posted on my blog. This was the year I not only moved out of my parents’ place for good, but also finally made the switch over to being fully self-employed. Starting all of that up took some time.

It’s been a great year for me. Since becoming a full-time freelancer in June, I got to

  • work as a director, videographer, and video editor for a local business here in Vancouver (http://vimeo.com/104626874)
  • go on a three-week vacation in Thailand with my lovely girlfriend (things are going great!)
  • work on a few marketing videos for TD and CBC Music
  • visit Toronto to be on a reality TV show with CBC Music
  • attend WE DAY as one of their brand ambassadors
  • visit Miami to give a talk about “The Psychology of Boredom” at Miami Device, an education and tech conference
  • partner up with DJ software company Mixed In Key for the release of Pop Danthology 2014
  • do a whole bunch of interviews after the release of Pop Danthology 2014

dan_miamideviceWhile all these exciting things were happening, I did not forget about my blog. There are so many new things I want to write about.

But, first, I wanted to tidy up my blog. Overtime, my theories and thoughts about OCPD have evolved and I began to feel like my blog needed some major renovation. Please have a look at the new updates:

  • Tagline: “Restoring the gift that lies beneath the obsessive-compulsive personality disorder”
    • My old tagline used to read, “Understanding how obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is a gift that just needs a little grace.”
  • What is OCPD?
  • About

 

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Sexual Intensity and Frustration

Sexual frustration is as much an unavoidable, universally experienced difficult feeling in men as sadness or anger. Those bearing a “highly sensitive” nervous system are more likely to experience these feelings even more intensely. Just as it is with sadness, anger, and all other negative emotions, it is very tempting to fix, control, get rid of, or escape the difficult feeling of sexual frustration right away. But it is exactly these immediately gratifying control mechanisms that set us men up for failure in the long run, especially in our relationships.

As painful as it is, the best thing to do in the long run is to NOT do anything when the difficult feeling of sexual frustration comes.

Tissue Box

When boys first experience the difficult feeling of sexual frustration, many of them are left to figure out on their own how to deal with it. This often is the case because there are too many fathers who are either embarrassed to talk with their children about sex or they themselves have very little wisdom or knowledge in the area to pass down. Boys will then discover that the easiest, most accessible way out of this difficult feeling is through masturbation.

Although masturbation might be effective in alleviating the discomfort that comes with sexual frustration, this temporary state of relief comes at a cost. This technique as an escape method robs people of their opportunity to learn how to be ok with this difficult feeling. Those who never allow this difficult feeling to simply take its natural journey in and out of their system through mindful acceptance will find that their sexual frustration in their adult years is as intense as their sexual frustration from their youth. It is through our continuous exposure to discomfort that we build a greater tolerance for it and require less of a quick and easy way out.

Take, for example, the difficult emotion of “stage fright.” When we first experience it, it may be incredibly frightening. Fortunately, many school systems are designed to push children from an early age to continuously face this initially overwhelming feeling. Through “show and tell,” school plays and talent nights, speech competitions, and group presentations, schools incrementally increase children’s exposure to the discomfort of being in front of people, whether the children like it or not. This is why adults are likely to feel less afraid than children to speak in front of an audience.

But unlike my example above, when it comes to sexual frustration, the availability of quick and easy ways out is much too high in today’s world, making it even more difficult for men to resist their control techniques. All it takes now for men to find immediate relief from their sexual frustration is to open up their internet browser. Yes, I am talking about online pornography. Online pornography has all the qualities to make it one of the most highly addictive control mechanisms for men: it is plentifully available, it is low-cost, it is easily accessible, and activity on it can easily be untraced.

Sometimes, though, men do get found out by their romantic partner. The romantic partner may then express his or her hurt (if your romantic partner gets upset by this, something very right is actually happening within his or her conscience). Men who have spent most of their sexual lives controlling their inner sexual experiences in this manner may then justify their behaviour with the response, “All guys do it.” But as I mentioned before, regardless of how many other guys do it, dependence on such an activity as a reaction to sexual frustration is a sign of weakness.

While I am still on the topic of pornography, let me just take this time to further rip it apart. If it means anything to you to have a wonderful sex life within a loving relationship, stay away from pornography. Pornography will ruin your sex life in a loving relationship. Pornography will cause you to shift your focus onto performance and high stimulation and away from intimacy. Your romantic partner will be left feeling inadequate even though making love should never be about trying to be good enough. Pornography will also keep you imprisoned in your sexual frustration. In fact, it will increase it. It will also cause you to objectify people. I could go on and on about the many consequences of pornography, but I should get back to my original topic.

Actual sex is also much more available than it used to be in the past. Watch this very interesting video on “The Economics of Sex” to learn more about this change in the availability of sex:

So as you can see, there are just way too many instantly gratifying, easy options for sexually frustrated men.

So what exactly is the point of putting oneself through the suffering of doing nothing about sexual frustration?

When you have tamed the beast inside of you through mindful acceptance, it no longer controls you. You no longer NEED something to fix it, control it, get rid of it, or escape it. You prevent yourself from developing sexual addictions. When you have sex with your loved one, you can actually give yourself to them as a whole person rather than use them to correct your inner frustrations. Rather than feeling entitled to sex from your loved one, you treasure every intimate moment with them. When other people outside of your committed relationship make a pass at you, you have the self-control to walk away and be loyal to your partner. All in all, you set yourself up for a greater sex life with your loved one in the long run by going through the pain of not doing anything when you feel sexually frustrated.

Here’s a great article on “Sex and Our Psychological Needs

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