Think about perfectionism as the top of the pyramid. It can’t stay up there all on its own; it needs many other things to hold it up there.
For so many the thought of not being perfect stops them doing the things they’d dearly love to do and also gives them an excuse for not doing the things they don’t want to.
Far from being a positive force, perfectionism is a negative one. If you want to be perfect at something, it’s because you are trying to avoid failing or being seen as incompetent. So whilst you feel you are moving towards something great, you’re actually trying moving away from something ‘bad’ and therefore your focus is on the negative.
Perfectionism often hides the true nature of your fear. You may be scared of failing, looking ridiculous or being humiliated so putting things off or refusing to do them because ‘you are not perfect’ is seen as a perfectly sound reason for not doing it.
And let’s be honest, we’ve all used that excuse to get us out of doing something we don’t want to do (hosting a meeting at work, doing a dance class, join amateur dramatics, cooking a meal for the 5000) but it really comes down to one thing….
All of those beliefs and fears form the base of the pyramid and as they grow and as you get feedback from others that you aren’t good enough they form the pyramid that gets topped with a nice, shiny perfectionism tip.
But so what if you agreed to do something and you weren’t perfect at it? Especially if it’s something you’ve never done before. If a child wanted to learn to play the guitar would you tell them not to bother as they won’t be perfect? Would you stop a toddle trying to work because they weren’t good enough at it? Would you refuse to let your teenage go to college in case they failed?
No – so why do we insist on being perfect? If we only ever do what we feel we’re perfect at we’ll never give ourselves the pleasure of learning something new. If we hold onto our perfectionism, we’ll never experience the euphoria that comes with success and that’s really sad.
As the wonderful Louise Hay says in her book ‘You Can Heal Your Life’
‘You’ve been criticising yourself for years and that hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens’ – It also happens to be a fantastic book, I totally recommend it!!
So my challenge to you, is to let go of perfectionism just once this week and do something with a mistake, to take a risk and allow yourself to fail and maybe allow other people to see that you are perfectly imperfect.
If you need some help with any of the subjects I talk about, let me know and we can have a conversation; I may be able to give you a quick tip or two to get you on the right track!
If you’re interested in starting your own journey into your Midlife Miracle, I’m launching a new online course + support in June. To get all the juicy details first, sign up at www.themidlifemiracle.com
Have a fabulous week!
With love & respect