As a recovering Perfectionist and an aspiring good-enoughist, I’ve found it extremely helpful to bust some of the myths about perfectionism so that we can develop a definition that accurately captures what it is and what it does to our lives.
- Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best. Perfectionism is not about healthy achievements and growth. 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 twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from taking flight.
- Perfectionism is not self-improvement. Perfectionism is, at its core, about trying to earn approval and acceptance. Most perfectionists were raised being praised for achievement and performance (grades, manners, rule-following, people-pleasing, appearance, sports). Somewhere along the way, we adopt this dangerous and debilitating belief system. I am what I accomplish and how well I accomplish it. Please. Perform. Perfect . Healthy striving is self focused – How can I improve? Perfectionism is other-focused — What will they think?
Excerpt from “Gifts of Imperfection”
This is just a piece of what I relate to. I do have more to share on this topic and will do so in bits and pieces. I don’t want to overwhelm you as it is a heavy, thought provoking topic.
I welcome your thoughts and views to this or any of my writings.