“Perfectionism is a self-destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame,judgment, and blame.”
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
After reading this book and hearing this woman, whom I deem A gift from God speak,
I had an “ah ha” moment about that torturous, addictive, up in the middle of the night, thing called perfectionism.
What Brene helped me to understand, was that perfectionism comes from that deep well of shame and inadequacy that we immediately go to when we feel we must impress. But who are we impressing?
That well has been filled by all our negative self talk, and is fed by the very thing that we feel we lack the most.
So we will overextend ourselves, often to the point of exhaustion, to overcompensate. That starts more shame and self judgement, and now those negative voices, they have formed a choir…. A very loud choir, and the well gets deeper and deeper.
Here is the question I’ve had to ask myself. Am I striving for excellence?
wanting to be the best ME I can be? Is that what fuels the desire to be perfect?
Or…is all this tail chasing going on because of what I want “THEM” to think of me?
AH HA! Right?!
I was often under the false illusion that I was just striving for excellence.
But your demons are great bullshitters. They’ll tell you anything to keep the game going, those rascals.
So , “who am I trying to impress”‘ is always the first question I ask myself
When I get that twinge toward perfectionism.
Because you know what?
The peanut gallery,
Are never satisfied.
If they are as judgmental as I am…I’m doomed!
I have to say that age has set me free.
Perfectionism was my judge and jailer much more when I was younger, and age has brought me a certain ability to relax into the fact that things are never going to be perfect, most certainly, myself.
Whew!! What a relief!!