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Part-Time Perfectionist, Full-Time Work in Progress

Being a perfectionist sounds like you must have it altogether, right? You’re super organized. You’re really good at coming up with the perfect plan. You’re detail oriented. You’re often good at whatever you do. But on the flip side, can you relate to putting unreasonable pressure on yourself? Making up rules to follow? Being extremely critical of yourself?


Perfectionism. It’s a concept I’ve struggled with since I can remember. As a child, I always wanted to be the good one, the rule follower, the people pleaser. Coupling this trait with being a competitive gymnast, I held myself to an extremely high standard and glorified the idea of being perfect. This resulted in critical self-talk, constant comparison, and this idea that everything needed to be a certain way. Since I was 7 years old, I'd tell myself, you’ll never be good enough. Now, I share this because I strongly believe that I’m not the only one to have had or even still have those thoughts.


As a part-time perfectionist, I’m very familiar with how we operate. We often procrastinate. We decide not to try a new endeavor out of fear of failure. We put such unrealistic pressures on ourselves because we have to be good at everything. We create expectations of how life is supposed to play out. We internalize our emotions. We put on a smile no matter what. So, how do we work through all that? Well… fear, doubt, pressure, failure, and anxiety never go away. They’re part of life. However, we can embrace more uplifting habits. It’s all about exercising constructive habits MORE than we entertain our negative thoughts or let them overwhelm us.


So, let’s dive into a few practices that help transform a perfectionist’s angst.


Positive Self-Talk: Switch the Script

If I could stress ONE thing out of this post, it’s pay attention to how you speak to yourself. I often catch my inner voice being really rude. The other day I was on auto-pilot, felt stressed, and realized my subconscious was going on about how many things I NEEDED TO GET DONE. I literally had to stop and say to myself, first of all, I don’t need to do anything. It sounds silly, but it was empowering. It put me in control of my thoughts, instead of my old thoughts running me. I was able to switch the script. This realization gave me the opportunity to give myself grace, patience, and empathy. I began to reflect on my priorities in life, give myself permission to be flexible, and remind myself of the amazing wife and mother I am.


If you’re used to being hard on yourself or narrowing in on your flaws, complimenting yourself is going to feel uncomfortable. I'm a big believer in positive affirmations, however healing your thoughts is more important than putting a band aid over them. I recommend quieting the negative voice first by reflecting on where that voice came from. Although that voice is self-imposed, it was also influenced by your past experiences. It becomes easier to transform your thoughts when you understand them better. Self-reflection leads to realization, which leads to healing and transformation.


Reflect & Process Your Emotions

Many of us internalize our emotions. We operate in autopilot from our past thoughts and experiences. A lot of my healing has been through the belief of evolving. I used to fixate on my mistakes and attach my worth to those moments. I’d beat myself up and keep myself small. Unfortunately, that is the formula of self-sabotage. After much reflection, I’ve learned to look back with compassion. In a sense, disassociate myself with who I was then and who I am now. I did the best with what I knew. Now I know better, so I’ll do better.


I challenge you to question why you are the way you are. Journal, meditate, talk to someone. Don’t settle for the whole- that’s just the way I am. Our weaknesses can be strengthened. We are meant to grow, evolve, and become better! I remember seeing admirable qualities in others and thinking I’m just not like that. Well, now I’m thinking, how can I become that?


Embrace Life’s Ups & Downs

As a perfectionist, we are go, go, go people. We like goals and crossing things off our list. Ok, cool. Done. What’s next? Many of us have big dreams so we think we can’t celebrate until we’ve made it, whatever that means. Trust me, I’m very future focused, but I’ve learned to celebrate the wins and soak up the moment along the way! It’s a motivating, fulfilling moment if you let it be one. We can celebrate AND keep reaching for our dreams.


We also need to cherish the good times because if you haven’t figured it out yet… Life does not always go according to plan. Perfectionists are all or nothing people. So, when things are good, we are ON IT. But when things go left, it feels like a failure or a sign to give up. All I can say is keep the faith. It may not make sense in the moment, but life is always working for you, not to you. Embrace the process- the ups, the downs, the lefts, and the rights.

As of today, there are still plenty of times I find myself in doubt, putting ridiculous pressures on myself, or even pointing out my flaws. But here’s the thing, we are all a WORK IN PROGRESS, not perfection. We try. We mess up. We do well. We learn. We take a break. We move forward. We have slumps. We get better!


Plan. Adapt. Embrace.

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Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I'm Katrina! A proud wife + humbled mama making the best out of life and staying centered among the chaos

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