Have you felt the intense energy around lately?
The conversations we’re having inside the Power Circle (the Woman Rising private Facebook community) lately have all alluded to the strain and stress we’re all feeling at the moment.
I’ve definitely felt it, so in honour of sharing my truth I jumped in to ask if others felt the same way.
A big sigh of *YES* came through the comments and the topic of exhaustion and overwhelm quickly turned to blaming perfectionism.
The conversation got me wondering about the concept of being ‘perfect’ and whether or not we as a society are keeping ourselves stuck in a cycle of guilt, anger, frustration and sadness when we strive for something that can’t be attained.
So like any intrigued person would do, I dived in to Wikipedia (yes, seriously!) and discovered perfectionism is a philosophy, that is, it’s a belief that a human moral or spiritual perfection should be or has been attained.
Obviously this leads to the next question: what is perfect, as surely my moral or spiritual idea of perfect would reflect my background, experiences, beliefs and values thus making it very different to yours.
As I dived in further, research from the University of Zurich revealed that those who carry perfectionism tendencies are more likely to live with high levels of stress over those who have ‘modest goals’.
These standards then showup as constant failures in life because when you strive for your version of ‘perfect’ the goal posts keep moving further away and you’ve essentially set yourself on a path to lose time and time again because nothing is ever good enough.
Therefore it seems perfectionism is the fine line between pleasure and pain, as the constant pushing to achieve the best possible outcome will only fail, thus creating no space for sufficient compromise (or at least a sense of completion). It’s one of the other.
If you believe you may harbour perfectionist traits, here are three ways to let go of control:
1. Value Courage
Ask yourself if your need to achieve ‘perfect’ is a deeper call for applause and approval from others. Instead of working your fingers to the bone to gain praise (i.e LOVE) perhaps you could applaud yourself for having the courage to put yourself out there and showing your truth instead?
2. Be Ware Of Your Inner Critic
When that voice inside you tells you nothing you do is good enough, take a moment to acknowledge it and say either out loud or to yourself, ‘I matter and I love myself enough to do what feels right in this moment.’ Positive affirmations can work wonders to boost your confidence and keep perfection at bay.
3. Get Started
Does your perfectionism stop you before you’ve even started? Have you talked yourself out of working towards your goals because you think, ‘If I can’t do it perfectly I wont bother’? Imagine how boring and blah our world would be if everyone followed this train of thought? Instead of focusing on the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, learn how to take small steps towards achieving your goal first and celebrate your smaller more realistic milestones.
Everyone needs a little trial and error in life to understand what makes him or her tick. So let down your walls and start discovering life again. Imagine if you got started on one idea and realised along the way you were more suited to something bigger and better? That’s what learning, growing and building your own path is all about.
Now it’s your turn. In the comments below I’d love to know if you would call yourself a perfectionist and how this impacts your life. Alternatively, have you learned to let go of perfection?