it's the hazardous detour.
Like vulnerability, perfectionism has accumulated around it a considerable mythology.
Let's take a look at what perfectionism isn't.
- Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving for excellence.
- Perfectionism is not about healthy achievement and growth. Perfectionism is a defensive move. It is the belief that if we do things perfectly well, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgement, and shame.
- Perfectionism is a twenty ton shield that we lug around, thinking it will protect us, when in fact it is the thing that is really preventing us from being seen.
- Perfectionism is not self improvement. Perfectionism is, at its core, about trying to earn approval.
- Most perfectionists grew up being praised for acheivement and performance. Somewhere along the way, they adopted this dangerous and debilitating belief system, "I am what I accomplish and how well I accomplish it. Please. Perform. Perfectly.
- Perfectionism is other focused. What will they think? Perfectionism is a hustle.
- Perfectionism is not the key to success. Research shows that perfectionism hampers achievement.
- Perfectionism is correlated with depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralyzing or missed opportunities.
- The fear of failing, not meeting people's expectations, and being criticized keeps us outside of the arena where healthy competition and striving unfolds.
- Perfectionism is not a way to avoid shame. Perfectionism is a form of shame. Where we struggle with perfectionism, we struggle with shame. It can look and feel like an addiction.
To combat the notion of perfectionism is to adapt self kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness.
- Most of all being kind, understanding towards ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or flagellating ourselves with self-criticism.
- Common humanity is recognizing that suffering and feelings of inadequacy are part of the shared human connection, something we all go through, rather than something that just happens to "me."
- Mindfulness is simply to notice our pain and feel compassion for it as the same time without judgement, and not over identify with thoughts and feelings, realizing we do not have to be caught up by negativity.
Remember your worthiness,
the core belief that we are enough,
and own our stories and
let go of the never ending performance of
who we think
we are supposed to be.
Brene Brown ~ Daring Greatly