Ignoring the positives
Another thinking style that goes along with noticing the negatives is ignoring the positives – for example, Aimee ignored the fact that people were telling her that they were enjoying her conversations.
People with perfectionism also tend to ignore the positives when their goal is reached. They often think “It was not that hard”; “Anyone could have done that”; “It was no big deal”; “If I can achieve this goal, it’s too easy, I need to make it harder next time”.
Someone who ignores all the positive areas of their performance, and resets a goal to a higher level each time they reach it, is putting themselves in a no-win situation of feeling that they are always failing.
If you have spent a lot of time noticing the negatives and ignoring the positives, it is helpful to record actual information of your performance to find a balance.
Try to think of some situations in the last week and record the positives, and the lack of any negative comments about your performance. Here are some examples
|Area||Positive information||Lack of negative information|
|Work||Teacher commented that I did a good job on my presentation||No one criticised my presentation or how I looked|
|Appearance||Friend commented that I looked good tonight||No one said that I looked bad|
|Social||People approached me to talk||No one said I looked anxious or that I was boring|
What did you learn from this diary?
Hopefully it has helped you to start noticing the positive areas of your performance and the lack of negative comments. Because you have had a habit of ignoring positive successes for a long time, you need to search actively for positive information and the lack of negative information. Keep recording these events until you get into a new habit of noticing the positive areas of your performance!