Wanna know why your perfectionism is killing you? Read this.
So before I start, of course I mean ‘killing’ in the softer sense of the word; as in dampening your mojo, squashing your dreams, making you die a bit inside, y’know. Not a life or death or ambulance-type situation.
However, it IS very much a happiness or unhappiness-type situation, and for that reason alone, we gotta take some control back honey! Lil’ Miss Perfection’s been joyriding on our good vibes for far too long. ENUF!
But d’ye know, there was a massive period of my life where I wore my [perceived] perfectionism like a badge of honour. I was almost like the Queen of Uptightness and Rule-Abidement (yes, new word), which also made me The Officer of Overthinking and Inaction by default. Hell, I was almost proud to say to the world that I couldn’t let a damn thing go and everything had to be ‘just so’ before I could ever think of relaxing or pressing pause. Sexy huh? 😁 I was quite the catch 😉 but I don’t think it reeeeeally dawned on me how much of a limitation it was until I became a mama in 2016. (If you’re already a perfectionist-turned-mama, I know you get me).
(Now lemme tell ye, if you’re a perfectionist and hope-to-one-day-be-a-mama, let’s just say the two do not mesh so well together 😄 In fact, perfection is an impossible living standard any day of the week for anyone, but when it comes to raising humans, it’s even deeper into impossiblé. Something has to give. Perfection is more clearly unreachable than ever before. And my own personal realisation of that, was an absolute GIFT. A gift I had no idea I wanted or needed, until my daughter gave it to me 🎁 And now I’m out the other side, insanely grateful, and I can see why and how perfection was killing me, and why it’s probably killing you too).
So spill it Kerry, how is it possibly killing me?
It can be killing you in all manner of ways to be honest lovely. But namely, the expectations you have of yourself; the frequency, and the tone with which you mutter insults to yourself when things go a bit awry; the unobtainable standards you set for yourself that you wouldn’t expect of anyone else (even though the standards you set for anyone else are super-high too, but more on this in a sec); and the punishment that you then dollop on yourself for not being able to meet those expectations – which inevitably ends in some kind of wallowing because once again, you’re seeing yourself as ‘less than’.
This is killing you.
It also kills you in the standards and expectations you have of others, and the expectations you assume others have of you. Ahem, people-pleaser anybody? 😊 (if you didn’t catch my last post yet, read it now). Think about the bar you set that is impossible for anyone else to reach, that bar that leaves you in an eternal state of disappointment and feeling let down. That fictional bar, that in a twisted way, probably makes you feel a bit better about yourself because when you do get disappointed by others’ lower standards, you feel you’re doing a better job of ‘perfect’ than they are.
Yep. That’s killing you too.
But most crucially, it also kills you in the standards and expectations you have of your future, your aspirations, your goals. All that stuff. Even thinking about your future in terms of this year, if you’ve set any goals or maybe just A goal, think about your default response when your goal doesn’t quite materialise in the timespan you aimed for. Think about your default response when your goal doesn’t seem anywhere near happening either. You’re getting mental validation that yes, you are hopeless. You’re getting confirmation that yes, you’re useless. You’re getting proof that yes, your assumptions of these things were right all along. The likely result is then giving up, on the goal and on yourself.
Your perfectionist standards are telling you and your goals/aspirations/future, that they’re a bonafide failure, right? And this my friend, is what’s killing you:
You’re living in a perpetual state of believing you’re a failure.
Absorb that for a second honey. Because you’re building (or have built) a way of living where feeling poop about yourself is virtually an inevitable part of your every day 👉 Inevitable. Isn’t that a bit bananas when you read that back to yourself? The way you’re choosing to think is a lose-lose scenario; perfection is impossible to reach, but you won’t stop until you get there. Bananas! 🍌
So what can you do from hereon in? Now you know what you know, now you know what you’ve created for yourself, what can you do to step out of this perpetual cycle of disappointment and inner-insults, and step into a new perpetual cycle of contentment and inner-hugs?
Accept that it’s a choice you’re making. It’s a lifelong habit that you can change. Your perfectionist streak will never leave you, but you get to choose how much it stands in the way of your happiness. Understand that failures and failing are part of success, not the opposite of success. And realise once and for all that your bestest, strongest, most loving, supportive team player needs to be YOU my friend. Yes you ❤️️
If this has helped you look at your perfectionist tendencies in a new light and feel differently about how you’re going to manage it going forward, I’d absolutely love to hear from you in the comments. And if you know a hellbent perfectionist who needs a good ol’ poke, maybe share this with ‘em too.
My program The Imperfect Life® Designer is going to be launching in Spring (for realz this time!) 😁 ha! So if you’d love some help and guidance to finally ditch that wretched Sunday night fear and find your ‘thing’, if you’d love some help and guidance wading through all this mind-boggling mindset stuff, and if you’d love some help and guidance with the practical steps of then creating and living the life you want, then you might wanna get all up in this waitlist by tapping the button below.
I can’t wait to show you what I’ve made, just for you 😉
Until next weekend beauts 💋