“Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving for excellence. Perfectionism is not about healthy achievement and growth. Perfectionism is a defensive move.” – Brené Brown
The last few weeks I’ve had several conversations about perfectionism. It came down to how perfectionism can keep you from what you actually want to achieve.
Often people do not take action, because they only want to take action if they can do it perfectly. Perfectionism is a big driver of procrastination.
‘What would people think’ is also a big thing around perfectionism. A perfectionist wants to be good enough and only tries new things or throws out new ideas in the world if he/she knows it’s going to be perfect and he or she is going to be liked.
But the thing is… We can only figure it out by doing it and taking action.
Behind perfectionism lies the fear of rejection. Because when you do everything perfectly, the chance is small that you are going to be rejected or that you are not good enough. If you do everything perfectly, nobody can catch you on a mistake and you don’t have to be afraid of failing.
‘I am not good enough’ was the limiting belief that drove my perfectionism for many years in my life. I wanted to do everything perfectly and for a long time I didn’t realize how much stress I had, how much energy it took and it literally made me sick. Only because I wanted to do EVERYTHING perfectly and keep everybody happy.
With help I was able to change my life and work on my limiting beliefs. It gave me so much freedom. I realized that I can do and achieve so much more now my life is not longer driven by perfectionism. I learned it the hard way, but I am happy I took action on it. It was not easy, and sometimes it’s still there. But I know now: good is good enough.
I am grateful that I have this experience, because in my coaching I am able to help other perfectionists. I already helped so many people and they all experience a whole new world with a lot more possibilities!
Perfection doesn’t exist. It’s an unattainable goal.