By: Michell Stanley, LICSW, ACC, RYT
Perfectionism, as defined as the condition of being flawlessly free from defects, is an unrealistic and unattainable standard that plagues many of us. Despite knowing this, we often find ourselves trapped in its grip, experiencing various forms of pain and frustration.
Keep reading to learn more about the most common causes of perfectionism and how to find freedom in living more authentically.
3 Common Causes of Perfectionism
1. Fearing Failure: The fear of failure can paralyze us, preventing us from taking risks and pursuing our goals. We become so fixated on avoiding mistakes that we miss out on valuable opportunities for growth and learning.
2. Imposter Syndrome: Perfectionism often goes hand in hand with imposter syndrome, a persistent feeling of inadequacy and self-doubt. We constantly question our abilities and accomplishments, fearing that we will be exposed as frauds.
3. Procrastination: Perfectionism causes execution paralysis. We get so hindered by the details of making something right that we don’t ever get it done.
Recognizing the signs of perfectionism is the first step towards breaking free and embracing a more fulfilling and authentic approach to life. If you are ready to dive deeper to develop a mindful mastery of authenticity, keep reading.
Perfectionism often makes us overly focused on the end result, causing us to lose sight of what is truly meaningful and enjoyable in the process.
That’s why practicing presence can help you to balance perfectionism and love with more authenticity. The practice of being present with yourself and your moment to moment experience helps to cultivate acceptance, patience, and a deeper connection with the current moment. Without presence, we risk burning out as we strive to achieve unrealistic goals within an unrealistic time frame. We may even give up altogether or feel overwhelmed by indecision
Keep reading below to discover how to practice presence over perfectionism and experience the freedom of authenticity!
5 Steps to Mindfully Master Authenticity
Step 1: Cut out Constant Comparison — Healthy comparison can be a way of identifying a goal or result you want. Comparison is unhealthy when we use it to evaluate our own progress. Make sure you give yourself credit for the things you have that you admire in others. Second, take time to reflect on the reality of the full person or picture you are comparing yourself to. Finally, compare Yourself to Yourself (not to others)
Step 2: Take Care of Yourself — Body, Mind and Spirit. Trusting in the process requires trusting yourself to take care of your well-being. Prioritize self-care by creating daily habits that are healthy, nourishing, and self-affirmations.
Step 3: Savor what is Significant to You — Focus on what is most valuable in your day-to-day experience and be intentional about creating more of it. Embrace the present moment and let go of the constant need to achieve perfection in the future.
Step 4: Pause and Redirect — When you notice yourself feeling dissatisfied or overwhelmed, take a moment to pause and take a step back to see the bigger picture. Accept how you’re feeling without needing to like it, and gently guide your focus back to the present.
Step 5: Celebrate Success — Recognize and celebrate your progress along the way. Trust in your abilities by periodically acknowledging and appreciating the evidence of your growth and achievements.
Remember, perfectionism may be deeply ingrained, but it doesn’t have to define your life. Embrace imperfection, find joy in the process, and discover the freedom that comes with letting go of unrealistic expectations.
By learning to live with more authenticity, you can bring more fulfillment, peace, and creativity into your life. The pressure to constantly strive for an unattainable ideal will dissolve, allowing you to fully enjoy the journey.
At Moksha Living, we understand that doubt, uncertainty and anxiety are a natural part of the human experience. We offer support through our upcoming self-trust class. Join us to learn practical tools and strategies to cultivate the trust to navigate your life, relationships and career.
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As a holistic psychotherapist and a life coach, I use life coaching and psychology to help you be more intentional in your life and relationships so you can evolve through obstacles and enhance fulfillment.