What? Imperfect? Yup. A lot of people wear perfectionism and having a “Type A” personality as a badge of honor.
The truth is, we have been sold a bill of goods on perfectionism. Many of us confuse it with self-improvement or striving to be our “best self”.
Self-improvement asks, “How can I improve on this?”
Perfectionism asks, “What will they think?”
Perfectionism is an attempt to avoid all rejection, all criticism and all failure.
Perfectionism may feel like it’s saving you from drowning, but it’s not going to help you learn to swim.
You’re treading water, staying safe and desperately trying to control you reality.
Not. Even. Possible.
Perfectionism isn’t something we have or don’t have. It’s inside all of us at certain levels, and under certain circumstances, it rears it’s ugly head. Knowing what triggers your perfectionism, and what your behavior and self-talk is during “perfectionism mode” is key to being resilient.
At the root of perfectionism is the strong desire to feel loved and accepted.
No matter the root causes of your perfectionism, know that when it get’s triggered, that is what you are really desiring: love and belonging.
There is another, gentler way to get there. It’s called self-compassion, and it’s not the “soft skill” we’ve been misled to think it is. Self-compassion is actually the gateway to the love and connection we are seeking.
Here’s the truth bomb: Your perfectionism doesn’t just effect you. Your perfectionism has incredible impact on the children in your life that see you hustling for approval, your friends who don’t come to you because they don’t think you will understand, or your co-workers/employee’s who hide problems from you because they know how you feel about “failure”.
Perfectionism = Disconnect, Isolation, Anxiety, Depression
Self-Compassion = Connection, Belonging, Dealing in truth, Deep meaning
Make no mistake, when you choose to move from perfectionism, to self-compassion, it will not only transform you, it will transform everyone around you.