I admit it - I’m a recovering perfectionist.
I used to claim that title with pride; it meant that I would go above and beyond for whatever task came my way (and I still find that admirable… to a point).
But over time, I started to take a closer look – with both my clients and myself – and what I saw on the flip side of perfectionism wasn’t so great.
If you identify as a perfectionist, I want to share this with you – for the sake of your health, your sanity, and whatever amazing contributions you might be making to the world… if only your perfectionism wasn’t standing in the way.
Here’s the big secret: More often than not, at the root of perfectionism you will find fear, self-criticism, and the desire to control…
This leads to overwhelm, procrastination, and a laundry list of health issues.
In my practice, I’ve seen associations between perfectionism and anxiety, burnout, fatigue, eating disorders, depression, and even digestive issues! This is not uncommon, you guys.
Setting (unattainably) high standards for yourself is a great way to feel totally overwhelmed, inadequate, paralyzed by the amount of work you have before you, and subsequently give up before you even start.
Alternatively, a lot of perfectionists will start on projects or goals, but their nagging doubts and critical self-talk keep them from ever actually finishing anything.
So what’s stopping you from just doing the damn thing?
In a word: fear.
- Of what other people think;
- Of not being good enough;
- Of being really, truly seen – faults, vulnerabilities, and all.
Perfectionism acts as a shield. It protects you from letting the world see your mistakes. It helps you feel in control of your image, and your life.
But reality check, you actually can’t control what other people think of you. You sure can drive yourself crazy trying to, though.
Even more importantly: your mistakes and eccentricities are what make you unique, human, relatable, lovable, and authentic. They are a part of you, and you are important and valuable.
Don’t let your perfectionism rob the world of your gifts, and certainly don’t let the shame-blame-guilt spiral of it take a toll on your health. The only way to move through these blocks is to start taking (imperfect) actions!
Let the world see you.
Allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them.
Your health, your sanity, and the people around you who need what you have to share with the world, will thank you for it.
So what’s one thing you will commit to finishing today? Leave me a comment below and let me know!