How Perfectionism is Sabotaging your Dreams
Today we’ll be examining the idea of perfectionism and how it is different from excellence. This is an invitation to ditch perfectionism and embrace uniqueness.
Magick is all about going with the flow, and going with the flow is the opposite of perfectionism. Perfectionism is swimming upstream or it is a boulder that blocks the flow of water. Perfectionism is when you are so focused on the need to be right, you miss the opportunity to be present.
It’s time to celebrate your uniqueness, the challenges you may face, the obstacles in your path and the imperfection of life. Imperfection is a tool that you can use.
How do you release this?
Let me tell you a story about my anxiety. A lot of my work involves, chatting with people through Skype, recording videos and podcasts and meditations. I am always worried about the audio quality of what I am creating.
I live in an apartment building. There are people on the other side of every wall. Behind me I hear guitar practice, on the other side I hear the TV. The front door faces the stairwell so there is a lot of movement, people exiting and entering, talking excitedly about where they’re going or where they’ve been. Downstairs plays music or maybe video games loudly which vibrates the floor.
We chose the top floor of the building so we wouldn’t have people walking on our heads, but it turns out the maintenance people go on the roof to fix air conditionings, this happens almost daily. A broken air conditioner in Florida is an emergency maintenance call.
That’s what happens outside. Inside I have two cats who cause mischief, they have loud toys, a clattering feeder and they are both quite talkative. I also have Alexa who thinks she hears her name all the time. The fan on my computer effects the audio, the air conditioning effects the audio. I time when I use the dishwasher and the Roomba around recording.
All of this used to cause me anxiety because I was worried so much about producing a perfect video or a perfect podcast or a perfect guided meditation. Sometimes, it held me back from doing these things.
Then I realized it doesn’t matter. What matters is a commitment to excellence.
Perfectionism can take control over the situation. It is domineering and can be annoying when you are unable to make progress due to micromanaging and extreme attention to detail. It creates resistance and unnecessary obstacles.
A commitment to excellence is different. This allows me to deliver the most beautiful products created with care and love. I care about a certain level of perfection because I care about the service and the appreciation of the artistry and the thought that goes on behind the scenes.
But when caring about a level of perfection that is unachievable or unrealistic results in uncompleted projects, it is harmful.
I want you to examine the areas of your life where you are letting perfectionism hinder your progress. Below are some tools and techniques to build your awareness so that you identify the difference between the need for control and the commitment to excellence.
1. Avoid self-sabotage
Being hard on yourself or mean to yourself, and any negative self-talk prevents you from creating the life of your dreams. You imprint your mind with thoughts that don’t serve you.
I have had thoughts along the lines of who’s going to listen to me if I look this way? Why would anyone care what I have to say? What if what I say doesn’t come out exactly right or is misinterpreted?
These are the things that have prevented me from taking action in my business for months. Finally, I stopped making excuses for why I couldn’t do Facebook Lives, or write blog posts, or sell my designs. I let my negative self-talk get in the way.
Looking back on how these things have changed my life, I wish I had started a long time ago.
Because ultimately nobody cares what I look like. I have kindness and wisdom and ideas to share. Sometimes, I don’t say things exactly right but it doesn’t matter.
When we expect ourselves to be perfect we create resistance. Instead of looking for what could go wrong, look for what could go right. Look for things to appreciate.
Be compassionate with yourself. What do you like about yourself? Turn the things you don’t like about yourself around into things you do like. I don’t like the way my voice sounds can be I am so happy I can express myself verbally.
No one is immune to negative self-talk. Everyone has something they don’t like in their personality or their looks. But this keeps us from moving forward with our unique dreams. Become aware of when you are being hard on yourself and stop yourself.
Because when you begin living life in you own authentic skin, you can manifest and create the life you desire.
2. Owning your Power
When you try to control situations and people, you leave no room for you to own your power. Figure out what provokes you to want to control things.
For me it’s when I feel pressure, or a looming deadline and the stress on my body that comes with it. I start wanting to control everything for fear that the deadline will approach and I won’t have a perfect product. I micromanage and this spreads into my personal life
When you try to take control, you create a gap between yourself and the divine. You keep trying to fill the gap with more control, but it continues to widen.
Perfectionism gives us a false perception that we have control, but we don’t. In some ways, we do have control, but it’s only over ourself and our actions. The control we have is about guiding our emotions and energy. We can control how we respond to things, we can choose who we perceive our reality.
We have control over these things, but so much of our experience is determined by the timing of the universe. When you live under the assumption that you can control more than you are actually capable of you actually begin to block the control you do have. Wanting to control a situation comes from feeling powerless, but control is the opposite of power.
When you feel yourself beginning to micromanage or want to take control of everything and everyone around you, guide your emotions to a non-controlling, non-manipulating space. Take a step back, meditate, journal, let go, release, trust, surrender to the process.
Take time to reconnect and commune with the Universe, the divine, your witchcraft practice wherever your source energy is found. Connect yourself, the microcosm to the macrocosm of the universe.
Let loose the need to control, and ultimately you will gain the power to determine your reality.
3. What Resists Persists
The more you are irritated by the things you don’t like, the longer it will remain as part of your reality. This is harmful to your future.
Your current reality is built from all your thoughts, words and actions of your past and right now you are building your future with your present thoughts, words and actions. Refocus on what you want to see in your future or you will continue to see the reality you don’t want.
In our brains there is something called the Reticular Activating System (RAS). It is a bundle of nerves at our brainstem that filters out unnecessary information so the important stuff gets through.
The RAS is the reason you learn a new word and then start hearing it everywhere. It’s why you can tune out the noises of a crowd full of talking people, yet immediately snap to attention when someone says your name or something that at least sounds like it. The more you activate something, the more you see it.
You can make a choice about how the RAS functions in your life. When you complain, you will find more to complain about and you will continue to see things to complain about.
Or you can choose to let these things fall into the background so you can focus on what is beautiful.
The Japanese art of kintsugi teaches that broken objects are not something to hide but to display with pride. By repairing broken ceramics it’s possible to give a new lease of life to pottery that becomes even more refined thanks to its “scars”.
Look at your scars, and wounds and instead of complaining about how you got them, celebrate them because they make you unique.
4. Embracing Who You Are With Self Compassion
Self-compassion is how you embrace your own self and your own sense of self. Embrace who you are and where you are right now. Embrace the perceived faults along with what you already love about yourself. Embrace and love who you are at this point in time.
When you cultivate self compassion and love, when you take care of yourself, when you nurture who you are and what you need, you see what you’re looking for.
You are here in this life to create change and build community. For both purposes you have to embrace yourself and show up as you are. Know that you are perfect just as you are. Stop getting caught up in the destination, where you want to be, and embrace the journey
Remove destructive patterns by being more compassionate with yourself.
Take a moment to examine what do you perceive as flaws. Then, try them on from a different position. How would your best friend talk to you about what you consider a flaw? How would your mom or dad or grandparents or siblings see it? Look at what you think of as flaws from the perspective of someone who loves you unconditionally.
Embrace them. Look at the flaws as part of your power. When you release your perception of flaws, you release the resistance. When you release the perfectionism, you are able to go with the flow.
That is the path to your freedom.
Continue your journey and share your experiences on the Mumbles and Things Facebook page.
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Now it’s your turn!
Where has negative self-talk impacted the progress of your life? What sets your need to control situations and other people in motion? How have your scars and wounds contributed to your uniqueness? How would someone who loves you unconditionally describe your “flaws”?