How Perfectionism Holds you back
One day a previous supervisor told me after a really bad day “you’re a perfectionist”. My first thought was “you have some nerve, you don’t even *insert explicit curse word* know me”. In this context, I dismissed the lesson that he was attempting to teach because there was no relationship connection for me to value his opinion. Plus, remember I said it was a bad day? Well, I was new on the job and had asked him “What could I have done differently?” My surface-level intention was to learn the job because I had made a mistake but my deeper intention was this: I feel pain and I need a solution to make sure it never repeats itself. This is the language of a perfectionist. Sometimes the message is valid even if we don’t connect with the messenger.
Over time I began to study perfectionism. Here’s how I define it: Perfectionism-a continual desire to live without flaw or error. Perfectionism is no different from other addictions in that it is a constant chase for a high. The high being a life without flaw, error or unnecessary vulnerability.
5 Things you repeatedly “chase” as a perfectionist:
- A new and improved you– This part of you is a self-help guru. Sis, the self-help books aren’t helping because you aren’t loving the current version of yourself.
- Validation from others– This disguises itself in “valuing the opinion of others” and shows up when you ask others “What do you think about this outfit? Do you think I should break up with them? or What would you do if you were me?“
- External peace– This one is very tricky. This appears as “I need you to do this for me so I will be happy“. I need you to call me beautiful or to give me the promotion I deserve so I can believe I am valuable.
- Leveling up– This is the chase of the new job, the new promotion, obtaining anther degree or learning a new skill. There is a difference between self-growth and self-competition. One is rooted in healthy enhancement the other is your past trauma of hyper-independence and self-reliance reappearing.
- Strength– This is what others call saving face but I call it bullshxtting. As women, we are conditioned that our pain is weakness and we internalize ideas of patriarchy to be more emotionless, like the man.
What perfectionism prevents
Perfectionism is drenched in internalized homophobia, sexism, oppression, patriarchy, and white supremacy. Perfectionism holds you back from your true potential because it fuels a dynamic of comparison. Comparison is the thief of joy. You begin to compare yourself to others accomplishments, financial success, body image, relationships, sexual performance, and beauty. With comparison comes a disregard of accomplishment. This is 100% preventing you from living a present life. You are so worried about a future or a different version of yourself that you forget to love the current version of yourself. This is perfectionism holding you back.
Perfectionism is that you? Nah, I am not available: Our top 2 tips to stop perfectionism from holding you back
- Begin a pleasure-based mindfulness practice: Pay attention to yourself in the present moment. As events occur pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, the way your face lights up or frowns, the things that make your heart skip a beat, the things that make you crave more life. Write them down and then do more of happy, pleasurable things,
- Begin a self-love practice: Look yourself in the mirror and point out something you love. Something about your body, something you do well, or your favorite character trait. Do you know those mirror markers? Go get some and hype yourself sis. Write self-love affirmations on your mirror such as You got this girl. I am so proud of you. You are unstoppable. Do this daily, shoot, or even multiple times a day.
If you’re tired of perfectionism holding you back and are ready to break up with perfectionism, schedule your free consultation today.