How to Stop Being a Perfectionist
“How do I stop being such a perfectionist?”
So many nights I laid in bed wondering if I would ever figure out how to stop being a perfectionist.
I had finally realized that maybe, just maybe, perfectionism was a big part of my anxiety and overwhelm.
Perfectionism is a false promise.
I prayed at the alter of perfectionism, and boy did it lead me astray.
“Get it right. Make it perfect. Don’t mess up,” Perfectionism threatens, “and then you won’t experience criticism, judgment or failure. Then people will love and respect you.”
But there is no such thing as perfect, my friends.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my struggle as a perfectionist to create the latest podcast episode on it.
Perfection is elusive at best.
My old belief that made me want to keep my perfectionistic tendencies: Things can always be improved….what’s the harm in that?
So I toiled away at it, obsessing about every detail mostly oblivious to the world around me. Surely more hours and working harder will lead to perfection.
Or I planned excessively, without ever actually doing any of the work. Accounting for every detail in advance will eliminate the chances of failure, I assumed.
Or some painful combination of the two that feels much more like spinning in doubt and confusion than meaningful progress.
Until the pressure or the impossibility of ever meeting the standard crushed my spirit and made me quit, settle, or change the goal’s deadline or deliverables.
It’s a Form of Self-Abuse
In trying to avoid criticism, judgment and failure it’s all I ended up experiencing. I criticized and judged myself all the way to feeling like a failure or fraud.
And a portfolio of work that other people think is great but I didn’t think it was good enough for one reason or another (why can’t they see it?!).
It’s Beyond Time to Let it Go
In order to experience more freedom and enjoyment – to go ALL IN on our Yes Life – we must drop the painful pattern of perfectionism.
I know it seems like a trap – that then we would settle for mediocrity, lower our standards, to become complacent.
But the belief in perfection actually makes us feel pressure, overwhelmed, humiliation, criticized, judged and shamed.
This emotional space is a mediocre trap that keeps us stuck.
There’s so much more freedom to move, to explore, to grow and achieve when you loosen the grip of perfectionism.
Being a perfectionist keeps us living small and constrained. It limits our results more than expands them. It slows us more than advances us.
Embracing “Flaws” + Mistakes
Perfectionism keeps us from embracing our humanity – the one thing that will set us free.
You are imperfectly perfect, it’s your flaws that make you beautifully human.
It’s making more mistakes and having more failed attempts that help you succeed faster.
You are not your mistakes or your failures, and you never will be.
You are so so so much more.
Let’s work on owning that.
This is something we work on all the time in my facebook group. Come on over and join us and drop this negative pattern quick.