You don’t have to suffer through the rest of your life by letting your inner perfectionist run the show.
What does the perfectionist sound like?
Sound familiar? It’s a pretty harsh voice, isn’t it?
This voice shows up in many ways in our lives, and it is not just with work. Another example that many moms can relate to:
One of my clients is a stay-at-home Mom with a one-year-old child. As many of you know, a one year old child requires a vigilant, watchful eye. This client was resting on the couch while the baby was napping. Yet, she felt guilty because she wasn’t being productive. “I must get things done,” “I must not rest for a moment!”, “there is too much to do!”
Again, you don’t have to suffer through the rest of your life by letting your inner perfectionist run the show.
Okay, so what CAN you do about this voice?
- First, be aware of it. Notice what it says when it shows up.
- Determine whether it is helping. Is it motivating you in that moment? Or just causing mental suffering?
- Then determine if there is another type of voice that could be present with you here. Maybe it's your inner hippie saying, "Hey perfectionist, give me a break, I'm relaxing here!" or maybe it's your inner realist saying, "Hey perfectionist, I'm tired, and could use 10 minutes." Think about it, if you heard another mom saying she felt guilty for resting while her child napped, wouldn't you tell her to give herself a break? Do the same for yourself :)
If you are able to do this process on your own, awesome. But, it takes practice. And sometimes we just aren’t able to do this on our own--which is A-OK and totally normal. This is when you reach out for support from others:
- Seek out someone you trust who can offer you empathy, understanding, reassurance (friend, Mom, Life Coach--by the way coaches are exceptionally skilled on helping you manage the perfectionist).
Okay, remember peeps, this about managing, and managing is a life-long process. You will not fix this overnight. You will learn to become skilled by practice and by seeking support when you need it. I will be writing more about this inner awareness and who the other members of your “team” are (the perfectionist is only one of many team members we have as part of our human experience). I will also be going into more detail on what support and compassion really are and look like. So, stay tuned. This is all really good, life changing stuff!
Image credit: Laying on the couch by slewelling via Creative Commons License Attribution 2.0