Perfectionism and It’s Tight Grip

Yep, I’m a recovering Perfectionist. I admit it.

You see, growing up in an alcoholic home resulted in me feeling as though I needed to always control my surroundings, my food, my body, my relationships, etc.

I never felt safe. I was always scared. I never knew what was coming around the corner.

So, to cope, I began to believe that if I was perfect, if I did everything perfectly, or I acted like a good girl, that I would be loved and everything would be A-o.k.

What I realized is that this perfectionist attitude built a huge wall around me. It was like I was lugging around a suit of armor that was impenetrable. This warped sense of self led me to years of suffering, emotional eating, financial struggles, body image issues and more.  It held me back from reaching goals, realizing my dreams and moving forward. I was paralyzed by my perfectionism.

I don’t share this with you for you to feel sad or sorry for me, but share from a place of knowing that my journey of recovering from perfectionism may be able to help you.

Do you find that if you don’t do things perfectly, then you just give up?
Do you hide behind a mask and not show your real self for fear of being judged?
Do you pretend life is ALL GOOD, when it really isn’t?
Do you avoid connecting with others because they may find out the real truth about you?

Perfectionism keeps us in a box. As Brené Brown, author of Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection puts it, “Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgment and shame. It’s a shield. Perfectionism is a 20-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that is really preventing us from taking flight. Perfectionism is, at it’s core, about trying to earn approval and acceptance.”

And Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love says, “Perfectionism is the Haute Couture of Fear; it is fear dressed up in high heels.”

In my journey, what I have come to know is that trying to always look perfect, have the perfect body, the perfect business, etc is freaking EXHAUSTING! It’s a lot to keep up, and over the years I have learned to let go of how I think I am perceived by others, and to also forgive myself for all the judgments I passed against my body, my life, my emotions, etc.

Every day I work with clients who feel like if they make one wrong move there is no point in continuing forward. They are scared to death of making a mistake or being judged by others, so they will dim their own light to fit in, or not be seen. God forbid if they ask for the food they need, the love they want or the support from their friends and family. That would make them look weak…wouldn’t it?

Perfectionism is the opposite of vulnerability, and the biggest thing that I have learned is that showing my real self, being vulnerable, honest and raw is what gives others the permission to do the same.

SO, I ask you? How will you inspire others to be themselves, and how will you show up in the world today? In a perfect package? Or as a human being doing their best in the world no matter how it looks to others?

You choose!

Much Love always
Melissa

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