Stuck in the claws of perfection
Here’s what I know. Perfection sucks the life out of anything and yet I am a former master perfectionista. I could make the best excuse not to do something anytime I felt like it was a waste of my energy because, after all, the outcome would never be perfect so what was the point? Looking for a great excuse? Call me. Exceptttttttttt. Don’t. Because I won’t buy it. I’ve stopped buying my own BS (most of the time) and here is why.
It’s loving and kind. And it’s no freaking fun anymore to sell myself short. Was it ever actually fun, Heidi? No definitely not. Okay, maybe at times when I would look cute enough and whine enough (🙋🏼♀️) to get the attention I was craving it would feel good for a little bit, but then the feel-good feelings would wear off —AS THEY DO! But why do they wear off? Because they’re a temporary reliever, distractor, shiny pretty thing, to keep us away from the real deal, the real life stuff of actually honouring our heart’s desires. Being and doing from a grounded, heart-centred place isn’t always easy. It’s often downright scary. But that doesn’t mean don’t do them. It actually means you are a human and obviously humans get scared, especially when there is no frame of reference to base your scary thing on. And especially since we often live according to limiting beliefs which tell us that we are ______________ (could it be that your blank is filled with not good enough?). Don’t make it mean anything because you’re scared. Alright, you still might make it mean something but you don’t have to, k?
When we get little tugs, nudges, glimmers, whispers (*see perfectionista can’t just choose one word here) of “ou..that feels like a something in my chest that maybe I need to investigate or listen to” it means that we have the abilities, the energy, the desire, THE CAPABILITIES within us to be, do, create said thing. So, for example, every time you hear a piano solo in a song, or hear someone playing the piano, and you get this OUFFF-like clunk in your chest (don’t tell me you don’t know what I’m talking about) of “wow” I would love to do that, or I can feel myself doing that, it’s been a dream of yours forever, then it means you can. You have what it takes. Get what I’m saying? It’s not just a willy-nilly dream in your heart for nothing.
So here’s the thing. I love writing. I have always wanted to write but I didn’t actually take myself seriously until this summer. It’s kind of like a slow coming out process—this time it’s as a writer. It’s not to prove anything to anyone, it’s because my heart has been saying I must. I need to. And at the same time the voice in my head is like “Girlllllllll… who do you think you are..you didn’t take any kind of English classes in university, you barely read any books that you didn’t “have to” read until you were 28, you’re only 32, what do you know about life or about being a writer. Quit while you’re ahead.” That little voice has been listened to since as long as I can remember. That voice comments on everything. AND I don’t hate her anymore. God how I hated her for so long! (Word of advice— trying to hate away the narrator in your mind does not work.)
She’s a perfectionista cause it was safer for her that way. She’s the voice of the wee little Heidi inside of me who learned all kinds of limiting beliefs when she was little about herself and about the world. She’s the one who says not to risk my safety through putting myself out there for judgment by others and the unknown of what could happen if I just be myself—
—If you just be yourself.
What if we enjoyed the journey, all the stumbles, the fumbles, the WTF moments, the holy sh!t I have no clue what I am doing times instead of focusing so much on being perfect and creating the perfect result? What if the joy and the fun of it all lived in this space? HINT: it does.
Here’s how we can shift out of perfectionista mode into showing-up-for-ourself mode:
Step 0: What 5 things are you grateful for right now?
*A gratitude practice is a great way to get you out of your head and back into your heart.
Step 1: Ask yourself what are you putting off because you think you don’t know enough or you’re not good enough to be doing/creating? Write it down.
Step 2: Ask yourself if you could envision yourself having all the skills and confidence necessary to go out and do/create said thing would you still want to do it?
Step 3: Ask yourself how much longer you want to put off doing this thing?
Step 4: Ask yourself what it would mean for you today—just for today— to take one or 2 small steps in making your dream of any size (walking for 20 minutes 4 times a week to being a successful entrepreneur..the what doesn’t matter) come to fruition?
Step 5: What are 4 qualities that you innately possess that can support you to move beyond your fears and perfectionista stuckness?
Step 6: What are 3 loving and compassionate things you can tell the little person inside of you who is terrified that they’re going to get hurt if you don’t do things “perfectly”?
Step 7: Who can support you in this journey of honouring your heart’s desires and not letting fear hold you back?
Step 8: Remind yourself each time those claws of perfection come out to Breathe and Believe. Perfection is just an excuse for you to hide. And the world doesn’t need you to hide. Do you. Get messy.
xo and love,
Heidi aka a recovering perfectionista