Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgement, and shame. It's a shield.- Brene Brown
Being Perfect is F’ing Exhausting
In many cases, being a perfectionist has been helpful, actually. It has possibly helped you cope with a challenging situation that was going on in your past. Perfectionism has given you something to focus on.
A sense of control.
You have high expectations for being a Mom. You want to give your kids the best, but that can be overwhelming in itself. As a Mom it’s so easy to get caught up in the comparison trap. You know, when you’re looking at someone else and how they parent and you think you don’t measure up. For example, let’s talk about birthday parties. You spend weeks on Pinterest looking for the right cake design, goodie bag fillers and decorations. You agonize over the guest list and invitations, making sure everything is “perfect.”
What makes you do this year after year, time after time? Most likely, it's that you get a lot of praise for throwing amazing parties. The food is on point. The decorations are coordinating and precise. And the food! The food is amazing. People look at you and think, maybe even say, “You’ve really got your shit together.” They want to do things like you, and joke about wanting to be you. Your home might look like it came out of a Home & Gardens magazine. Things are in their place. You feel great when you receive these compliments from others. You love throwing these parties. Being a perfectionist gives you a sense of feeling and being polished.
But little does everyone know how much work went into this party.
Into making it perfect.
How much you worry about not measuring up.
About not being a good Mom.
But lately, things are not going the way they used to.
You’re no longer enjoying your life, let alone throwing parties for your friends and family. Your thoughts and fears about being perfect are now ruining your life and you want to break free from this cycle.
You are becoming more anxious about things not going the way you want them to.
You have learned to tie your perfectionism to how people feel about you.
You have determined that if something is not perfect, you are not perfect.
If you’re not perfect, what does that mean?
Are you good enough?
Are you loveable?
If these questions are running through your brain, I can help.
Now you’ve become paralyzed by your own fear.
You've decided that if things aren’t going to be “perfect” you’re not even going to do it. So you give up. Before you even start. Because this fear of failure is so big. And so scary.
These fears are keeping you from doing things that you enjoy.
Being with people you care about.
These fears are causing you anxiety.
And making you feel defeated about not being able to perform to your own high standards. That might sound something like “I can’t do anything right.”
Another burden is being so consumed with making sure things are perfect, that you never get...ahem, take...the chance to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Before you know it, your awesome party is over and you never even sat down to talk to anyone or enjoy the new dip you made. You were too busy rushing around refilling drinks and making sure there were enough forks. Or, sadly, you were in the bathroom crying because you burned some of the appetizers and that certainly doesn’t fit in with the picture perfect party you had in your head.
Perfectionism has its place, don’t get me wrong. But it also has its drawbacks. The drawbacks are what brought you here today.
Let go of who you think you're supposed to be and embrace who you are.- Brene Brown
When I work with clients dealing with issues of perfectionism, we often come to the conclusion that they don’t know what they want. They have never been in a situation where they put their needs first. They have spent a lot of time meeting the needs of others while their needs sit on the back burner. And when the end of the day nears, they’re too tired to do anything about their needs so they go unmet. Again.
Part of our work together is exploring what is important to you, verbalizing your needs and then learning to communicate your needs to the important people in your life.
If you’ve been battling perfectionism and you want it to stop controlling your life, you’re in the right place.
Schedule a free consultation so you can learn to enjoy the party.