"When perfectionism exists, shame is always lurking.
As a recovering perfectionist and an aspiring good-enoughist, I've found it extremely helpful to bust some of the myths about perfectionism so that we can develop a definition that accurately captures what it is and what it does to our lives.
Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best. Perfectionism is not about healthy achievement and growth. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgement and shame.
It's a shield. Perfectionism is a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it's the thing that's really preventing us from taking flight.
Perfectionism is not self-improvement. Perfectionism is, at its core, about trying to earn approval and acceptance. Most perfectionists were raised being praised for achievement and performance (grades, manners, rules following, people pleasing, appearance, sports.). Somewhere along the way, we adopt this dangerous and debilitating belief system: I am what I accomplish and how well I accomplish it.
Please. Perform. Perfect.
Healthy striving is self focused --- How can I improve? Perfectionism is other-focused--- What will they think?
To overcome perfectionism, we need to be able to acknowledge our vulnerabilities to the universal experiences of shame, judgement, and blame, develop shame resilience, and practice self-compassion with ourselves and we begin to practice shame resilience, we can embrace our imperfections.
It is in the process of embracing our imperfections that we find our truest gifts: courage, compassion, and connection."
The Gifts of Imperfection ~ Brene Brown