I’ve spoken before about the problems that lie in trying to be perfect. You can read about it here.
Let me ask you something.
Have you ever compared your life to someone else’s? Ever thought you’re not ‘enough’ of something?
Not happy enough. Not successful enough. Not thoughtful, caring, smart, healthy, or anything enough. Well ENOUGH of that!
If you answered yes to any of those, then you’re a perfectionist (sorry if that is not new information!)
I think it’s something that’s affected everyone at least once. It happened to me only the other day!
You see, every month, on the 15th, the WHYs women and I take part in a WHYs catch up – an hour for us all to have a chat, share what’s been going on recently, and of course a time to live love and laugh together.
But this month I had been up in London on stage. I was speaking until half six, and then Marie Forleo was on stage after me until eight, and I was excited to listen to her speak.
I was busy, I was pretty exhausted afterwards, and I had completely forgotten about the WHYs catch up!
It was only a couple of days later that I remembered. I was annoyed with myself, angry, and was feeling pretty guilty.
The reality was that I had made a simple mistake – my schedules had gone over each other. And the solution was simple too – I simply just alerted the WHYs members that the catch up would be later the next day instead.
So why all the guilt? Because my perfectionism makes me never want to let anyone down.
Have you ever been there?
Perfectionism can come from uncertainty.
Some people strive for perfection as a defence mechanism.
They believe that by improving (controlling) every aspect of their life, they’re essentially trying to cut any sort of negativity from entering their life. Not only that, but they’re creating an illusion that from other people’s perspectives, they appear to have a perfect life where nothing ever goes wrong. And by making other people think that, they can maybe believe it themselves.
Life is unpredictable, life is scary and cruel at times. And that is true for everyone.
Perfectionism is a defence mechanism, like a big, soft blanket to hide under.
But you can’t hide under it forever.
Women are more affected by perfectionism.
No surprises here, but the roots of perfectionism lead back to childhood.
Think back to when you were a child. Was there a time someone made you feel inadequate?
Maybe a teacher who criticised your work. Perhaps someone told you that your career goal was silly, or unobtainable. Or maybe as a young girl – and forgive me if I’m wrong – you were told that when you grow up, you’ll get married and start a family.
What if you did as you were told, but then your kids grew up and moved out, or the relationship with your partner eventually died out? Where does that leave you?
It probably puts you in the situation where you think that you’re not good enough to start your own career, or your own business and you’re afraid. And you wouldn’t be alone in thinking that.
Many women hold themselves back when it comes to their jobs and life goals. They’ll hold themselves back from asking questions, applying for new roles, or asking for raises until they’re 100% certain of the positive outcome.
If something goes wrong, they blame themselves. If it goes right, they’ll put it down to someone else.
As you can imagine, it starts a pretty negative cycle. Perfectionism gets in the way of a good career opportunity, and at the same time you can’t ever feel perfect due to not even trying.
How can the cycle end?
Imagine this – as a child, you were told to push yourself, that it’s good to not score high in everything, and that you should go for any career you want – not any career you think you’d be able to get.
Being brave is a good thing, and it’s much more admirable than perfection.
And true bravery is accepting your faults, and giving something a try, without knowing what will happen, and without being wedded to the result.
Ask yourself this – what’s the worst that can happen if you’re not perfect?
So, what now?
Personal development is good, of course.
But there is a big difference between striving for perfectionism and personal development.
If you’re doing something for yourself, to move towards a life of happiness, and you’re being patient and forgiving with yourself along the way, then it’s personal development.
If not, then STOP and ask yourself why you’re doing it.
Be courageous, and try new things. Good or bad, they’ll broaden your horizons, help you meet new people, and you’ll discover more about yourself every step of the way.
And if one new thing you’d like to try out is public speaking, then reach out to me at email@example.com , and we’ll start from there.
Don’t push yourself to be perfect – it’ll only end in tears. Trust me.
PS – The genetic blueprint really helps with understanding who you are and what you are here to do – fill in this 2-minute questionnaire and I will send you your own ‘genetic blueprint’ which will help you understand yourself so you can begin to find your why! You will find it here.
PPS – If the link doesn’t work for any reason (sometimes technology has a bad day) then email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I will sort it out for you!
PPS – If you liked this blog and want to read more blogs surrounding female empowerment, you can find last week’s here: ‘You DON’T Need To Be Afraid!‘
“I’m on a global mission to help 10 million disheartened souls, who are at a crossroads, to STOP asking why me? And START saying why not me!”