We all know one, perhaps we want to be one, (maybe we are one); the Perfectionists! Their house is tidy, everything has its place, their achievements may take longer to read than “War & Peace”, beautiful, poised and successful. A magnificent species indeed, at least from the outside looking in.
So, what drives the mindset of these perceived majestic creatures? Is the price too high to pay for the R.O.I? What can be done to alleviate the pressure if you are one of them?
Perfectionism is neither good nor bad. It’s both. It all depends on how you perceive and embrace these characteristics allowing it to either help or hinder your path to success and happiness.
At its best, perfectionism is a relentless driving force of achievement, charging toward your goals and destiny. At its worst, it will bully and abuse you for never being good enough, holding you hostage in procrastination. Most of us sit somewhere in between dealing with pendulum swings as best we can.
The greatest tool a perfectionist can have is ACCEPTANCE. Accepting how they are wired, that it’s not a fault but a gift. Also, ACCEPTING the fact that no one is perfect, nor can they be this side of heaven and that it’s OK to make mistakes and fail at times.
Now, this may seem bleatingly obvious, and to the perfectionist, they are actually the FIRST to admit they are far from perfect. In fact, this can often be the problem, as they are holding themselves to ransom for the standard of perfection and beating themselves up for never achieving it!
It just doesn’t seem fair, does it? That’s because it’s not. You wouldn’t do this to your child, would you? Or even a friend, so why do we think it’s OK to do it to ourselves?
Most commonly the driving force behind this mindset is what I call the primary “If – Then” statement. For example, “If” I am perfect, “Then” I will be worthy of ______________ (fill in the blank of what you want. E.g. love, happiness, wealth, health etc.)
As you can imagine, or experience, the pressure of being perfect is enormous. Not to mention unfair and unsustainable.
So, what’s the KEY to relieving the pressure whilst keeping the drive? PERMISSION. Giving yourself permission to be “Perfectly Imperfect”. Connecting with the little person within and being their greatest cheerleader and protector. Loving self with GRACE and MERCY, whilst leading with vision and wisdom. Teaching the little person within a healthy way to love and accept who they are. We learn so much from mistakes, they are the very things that bring breakthrough!
Give the gift of kindness you would give others, to yourself. This will not only keep the drive to achieve, it will give you permission to enjoy the journey. The highs the lows and everything in between. Remember, you are “Perfectly Imperfect” and you are worth it!
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