I came across an article by Amanda Johnson called “The Common Misconceptions of Perfectionism.” I totally agree with the myths of perfectionism that are highlighted in this article. Why do we feel that we aren’t already perfect? Why do we think that things have to be done in a certain way?
I used to try to be “superwoman” by working a lot of hours, trying to do everything at home and getting very little sleep. I was actually proud of being able to do it all. But I started to realize that it isn’t something to be proud of at all. It is actually pretty stupid on my part. I realized that I was not good at asking for help at work or at home. I thought I could do it all myself. I was not setting a good example for my team at work or for my kids.
Brene Brown who is a shame researcher has written books and done many TED talks on imperfection, being critical of yourself and not showing vulnerability. She teaches that you may be imperfect, but that you are enough just the way you are. I highly recommend reading her books and watching her videos to get more details. I hired a coach who helped me see how things could be different for me, but it would require me to start thinking differently about myself. The next time that you start thinking that you have to be perfect, ask yourself if that is really true? Ask for help if you need it. This needs to be seen as a sign of strength, not of weakness. I promise that it gets easier and the funny thing is that people actually will want to help you!
I fully admit that I am a work in progress in the area of perfectionism. I like to describe myself as a “reformed perfectionist.” I still want to make things perfect, but I have realized that it is not necessary. It was more about me trying to convince others that I was good enough. That thinking prevented me from putting my best self forward, playing small and not taking risks outside of my comfort zone. I have personally seen how much this mindset shift has helped me and now I am working with my clients to experience that shift as well. If my story has resonated with you and I can help you move away from imperfection, please set up time with me. It is time to let perfection go, stop holding yourself back and be your true self.