Word of the Week: Perfectionist!

Perfectionist:

  • a person who refuses to accept any standard short of perfection.

I have a confession. I’m a recovering perfectionist.

I used to wear that badge with happiness. I would tell people, “I have to make sure I get it right, I’m a perfectionist, you know!”

Guess what? Being a perfectionist is exhausting.

I remember the first day I realized that.

I had a to do list a mile long, I overbooked myself with clients (again), I had to clean my house (in a perfect way, of course), and I was supposed to meet my mom for lunch. I sat down on a curb outside, and just thought about all of it. I realized that I did this to myself. I wanted to please too many people, and keep up perfect appearances.

I looked perfect on the outside, but I was far from it. I was tired. I came to my breaking point. Something had to change. I would not live like that anymore.

Luckily, with age comes wisdom.

Perfectionist

So, how did I get over the perfectionist mindset?

  • I told myself it was OK to not be perfect (what a blow to my ego).
  • I tried to stop living in black and white.
  • I tried to be more creative.
  • I stopped “shoulding” on myself. “I should always be happy.” “I should make sure my workout is perfect.”
  • I allowed myself to make mistakes, AND realized that mistakes are great learning opportunities.
  • I tried new things, not knowing if I would be good or “perfect” at them. Bonus, I have new hobbies like stand up paddle boarding, learning Spanish, and playing the ukulele.
  • I forgave myself for my shortcomings. I will never be a good singer, and that’s fine! HA!
  • I showed myself compassion instead of criticism.

Did all of this happen overnight? NO WAY!!!!!!!

It took a huge mental shift, and being proactive with my mindset to SLOWLY get over it.

Do I still have perfectionist tendencies? Of course! My clients know by the way I keep equipment, notes, and programs. But now the perfectionist mindset doesn’t rule my life. Thank goodness!

ACTION STEP: Do you have any perfectionist tendencies? Are they serving you well? What’s one small thing you can change this week if they’re not?