Is Striving for Perfection Hold you Back?
Lets get through this personal roadblock! Here’s what all perfectionists need to know to move ahead and not get stuck with perfection paralysis.
What is Perfection Paralysis?
When you worry about perfection so much that it stops you from beginning to achieve your goals. We all have goals, and sometimes we let what others think stop us from even attempting them. Often we let our own opinion get in our way by thinking about all the things we need, or think we need, in order to achieve. Say you want to get back into working out, you can either get bogged down in needing the right gym, the right workout gear, and the right trainer, or your can turn on YouTube and find a video, or even just walk around your neighborhood.
Perfectionists Need to Know: This Comes from Way Back
All this hesitation and need for perfection stems from childhood. During your childhood did you ever hear things like, “you should have done this better?” While parents want what’s best for you, sometimes that comes with judgment and criticism. Parents never want their child to fail or stumble. But by correcting them with statements like, “next time do better” the child feels like their opinion doesn’t matter, and that they can’t do anything right. Every time your parent said something like that to you, you were robbed of your courage to try something new. When we try new things, we often don’t get them right on the first try. And if every first try is paired with, “next time do better,” the desire to try new things wanes.
Fear Sets In
If you try to teach your kid to be perfect it sets them them up for an adulthood that’s fearful of trying anything. Chances are that adult will struggle with tasks like getting a job or moving to a new city because it’s too new. They get bogged down in the “what ifs” and won’t step into the unknown. That child grows up with a fear of judgment. They’ll be afraid that anything they do or try to do will be met with harsh comments and criticism, no matter how good that attempt was. It’s important to teach children that it’s okay to fail. Give them courage and support to try new things no matter how good or bad they may be in their attempt. Provide praise when they try something new and always be supportive.
Breaking Out of Patterns
What we experience in childhood we carry through to our future. If you grew up always hearing that you needed to do better, you were set up to develop your courage without any support. This lead to you always wanting to be perfect and afraid of judgment. Now that you understand this perfection paralysis and fear of judgment it’s also important to know that you can change things for the future. Today you have a choice, you can either continue listening to those echoes of growing up, or you can mute that voice and get your first attempt at something new out of the way. Apply your best effort and try that new thing, knowing that it won’t be perfect but it will be a start. You can’t correct yourself or make changes if you never try, so it’s important to take that first step and do something different.
Got someone to share this message with? All perfectionists need to know that it’s not their fault. But they need to dig deep. Comment below if you agree!
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