Perfectionism is often disguised as an elusive bully we call fear. He sits next to us, whispering lies that lure us into a false sense of security.
“I’m just a perfectionist,” we say, as we let opportunities pass by.
🤭We’re embarrassed to admit when we’re afraid, but many of us openly identify as perfectionists. 😮
So what do we do?
Dr. Susan David, award winning Harvard Medical School Psychologist, TED speaker and CEO of Evidence Based Psychology, says that one thing we can do is get specific about our fears and even have fun at their expense.
“As a result,” she says, “the ugly ‘truth’ that [fear that] has so much power over [us] loses that power, and is tamed.”
But what does that mean?
For me, it took many years, but I learned how to snatch that elusive disguise right off the face of fear. I learned to stare perfectionism down and call it out by name.
“There you are, Fear of Rejection. I see you. You don’t serve me. You enslave me. I choose to look through a lens of love for myself. I will NOT reject ME anymore. There are people in my life who love me, God loves me but you don’t. Goodbye!”
There was Fear of Unworthiness, rearing it’s ugly head, too. Sometimes it comes back to torment me. So I declare:
“Aha! Fear of Unworthiness. You’ve lurked in the shadows for too long. You’ve told me I’m not enough, that I don’t matter, that I should quit. You have no place here. Get out!”
Over and over again I notice them, call them out by name and even laugh in their faces. “Fear of Criticism? Pul-lease. There’s always a critic. I don’t need to listen to the few, loud critics who are never satisfied. Get out! There are people in my life who support me. Who love me. Who accept me. I am enough. ”
“Fear of Failure? Fear of Loss? Get out! Get out!”
Naming the underlying fears has been a powerful tool for me to learn. It’s helped me recognize and break free from perfectionism.
Hiding those fears, however, and holding tightly to them only gives them power.
What about you? 🤔 Have you ever said, “I’m just a perfectionist”?
What would happen if you exposed perfectionism for what it really is-an ugly fear?
A fear that soothes you into thinking you “just want to do things right.” Consider when fear is doing the talking or if you really are giving it your best, without fear lurking. There is a difference.
It’s ok to want to do things right. It’s great to do your best! I encourage it! I love that too. Our BEST, contrary to popular belief, however, is often filled with mistakes. And that’s ok, too.
High five for us mistake makers! Woot Woot! That’s how we learn, baby. Mistakes are how we learn. Now back to our topic.
When perfectionism whispers in your ear, stare it down and ask, “What am I afraid of? Now what will I do about that?
There’s nothing wrong with having some fear from time to time, but the the question is:
Will you shrug your shoulders with the excuse, “I”m just a perfectionist”? Or, will you call it out for what it is so that you can embrace your perfectly imperfect self, too?
How to Overcome Perfectionism
May 26, 2020