Are you a perfectionist?
How do you feel about failure?
If failure is a problem, you may be a perfectionist. However you were not born a perfectionist.
Perfectionism was a defense you adopted to keep you safe from someone else’s defenses whose focus was not on you, but on your performance. Maybe, you knew you had to get it right – to be loved, to feel accepted, to be seen in this family. But, that was not your need. Your need was to be loved for yourself, not for what you did – but in the absence of that – you creatively and your genius is – to develop the defense of Perfectionism – to ensure you are loved – if not for yourself (unconditional) then for what you do.
Types of Perfectionism
Was it for your academic success? For your sporting achievements? For your musical or artistic achievements or was it just for ’he always get it right’. He does everything perfectly – yes because he is driven by fear, not by passion. Fear of not being good enough. Good enough for who? Good enough for the parent or the teacher or the coach? And yet, you were always good enough, in fact you were perfect – it was not about you – it was about them and their own perfectionism that created limiting beliefs in you. What a shame they did not see you for yourself.
Ways to reduce Perfectionism – awareness is key
Could you do that for yourself now perhaps? Maybe, be the parent you needed and did not have? Could you develop the kind of relationship with self where you are encouraging and supportive of self. Where you see your efforts – and take the focus off your performance. Affirming yourself ’I am good enough – I accept myself as I am’.
Compassion is essential
The first step is Awareness and the second is Compassion. What was it you needed when you were young, but you did not get? Compassion for that young child who was always perfect, but it was not seen. Every parent does their best, with what they go, with where they are at, but they bring emotional baggage in to their parenting which blocks their parenting. They could not give what they never got themselves and perfectionism may go back generations. Compassion means you automatically are gentler on yourself when things do not go as expected and you ease up on self and others.
Embrace mistakes as part of learning
You may need to redeem mistakes as part of learning, that the man who never made anything, never made a mistake. to reduce your expectations of self, and then you will exceed your performance. To learn to accept yourself as good enough and to ease up on self. To see your efforts and your incremental improvements day by day. To see what you got right, rather than focus on the one you got wrong. To celebrate every single success with treating yourself.
If you are a parent – it is important to read how your defense of perfectionism, blocks you in parenting – read the article on Parenting & Perfectionism