Kicking Perfectionism to the Curb: Enough Already!

Are you one of the many women who suffer from the secret belief that you aren’t good enough? That YOU aren’t enough? That you really need to be thinner, smarter, fitter, or MORE outgoing, confident, successful, financially secure, or whatever?
 
It’s a common condition with serious consequences. Perfectionism usually drives that feeling of never being enough. It erodes your confidence, contributes to overeating and other unhelpful habits, and can lead to living a life on "hold."
 
Perfectionism is a mindset that never lets you win. If you don’t believe you are enough, you are probably driven (or paralyzed) by the feeling that you need to do and be more. And even when you perform—guess what—it still doesn’t feel like enough. You can always see further down the road or identify ways that it—you—could/should do better. Women who struggle with perfectionism worry about being judged by others—because they are so aware of how critical they are of themselves. Women who don’t feel good enough tend to live with their eyes on the future instead of feeling like they can enjoy the present moment. Personal dreams and desires often get put off until….
Until I lose the weight
Until I look better
Until I feel more confident
Until I deserve it.
It’s surprisingly easy to talk yourself into this kind of self-denial, especially if you are busy. And if you look successful and happy on the outside, the other people in your life might not really notice or call you on it.
 
It’s tragic.
 
Are you suffering from perfectionism? What are you putting off “until”?
 
What have you told yourself you don’t yet deserve?
 
Here are some things clients recently told me they were denying themselves because they weren’t feeling “good enough yet”:
  • ·        Wearing the color red and the bold fashions they loved
  • ·        Ballroom dancing
  • ·        A day at the spa
  • ·        Trying out for a play
  • ·        Learning a sport
  • ·        Going to the pool
  • ·        Riding a bike
  • ·        Buying and wearing something sexy
  • ·        Throwing a party
  • ·        Getting her picture taken
  • ·        Taking her career to the next (more visible) level
  • ·        Enjoying some much needed me-time without feeling guilty
Life—the good juicy stuff that makes it fun—was passing these women by. If you have an inner voice that tells you that you are not enough in some way, how is it impacting you?
 
Here’s the truth. You, me, all of us—we are born being enough. It’s simply a reality. We are born being good enough and entitled to live our best versions of our lives. That’s not some right we have to earn. It doesn’t come with a number on the scale or a pant size or a number on your paycheck. Too many women struggle to earn it through achievement only to find themselves very successful and still not feeling worthy.
 
Enough already. Let's kick perfectionism to the curb. What if you stopped working so hard to earn your entitlement and just began to own it?
 
Some of you already have, and if you are one of these lovely women, I challenge you to go out in the world and share the joy. For those of you who aren’t yet there, my question for you is this:  how would your life change if you started believing and living as if you were already enough today? What would you do differently if there was no more waiting to be thinner, brighter, shinier, or more perfect?
 
What would you do differently if the challenge was to live the best, juiciest, biggest version of your life starting now? I dare you. Life is shorter than you think. And I’d love for you to share your comments, thoughts, and experiences as you move forward.
 
Take good care,
 
Photo: PoYang@flickr.com

5 thoughts on “Kicking Perfectionism to the Curb: Enough Already!

  1. This is an issue that I've been working on for some time now, with good results but there always seems to be a little "lingering" there.  This is great information & I have worked on some of the above ideas, and looking forward to the next level!
     
    Thank you.

  2. Hi Cynthia,

    Thanks for your comment. I think we all have an inner perfectionist who shows up when it's least helpful. I believe that knowing this and not letting her stop us is more powerful than getting perfectionistic about eliminating her. It's always a work in process 🙂

    Melissa

  3. One minute! These feelings are not only experienced by women! I am definietly 100% male and dogged by some of the same horrible overwhelming feelings and (I think) just as ashamed of the bulge protruding over my belt as many women are embarassed by being overweight. Please don't make me feel left out by confining remarks to the fair sex.

  4. Hi Arthur–No intention of leaving you out! I agree that perfectionism plagues most of us–and when it’s there–it ALWAYS slows us down. Thanks for your comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *