Hi, my name is Suzie and I'm a recovering perfectionist. There, I said it. Now you know my secret. I'm not perfect. I, like many have just struggled with the idea of it. I used to suffer from what I refer to as: 'Ultimate Perfectionism Syndrome'.
The thing about UPS (Ultimate Perfectionism Syndrome) is that, like many mental quirks, it's invisible, so it's pretty hard to detect. But what makes it invisible is not the tendency towards perfection, but the way that this tie to perfection is strong, so extreme that leaves a person in fear of doing anything at all.
I used to have so many great dreams, ideas and ideal versions of myself swimming in my head. I knew that, if I tried, I could probably actually achieve these things. But the reality of living these dreams out loud. Of risking public failure. Of my reality not living up to the ideals in my head... Of the possibility that all my dreams could actually come true and I could actually be... wait for it - happy; Oh my God: the fear of all of this was just too much. It left me paralysed.
So, I tried playing small. Despite being SO much bigger on the inside? And guess what- I failed out loud, my reality did certainly not live up to my ideals and none of my dreams came true anyway... in-fact, my life just seemed a so-bad-its-hysterically-laughable one sad shit-show after another...
Now, dear, beloved reader, I would love more than ever to be able to tell you that I learned my lesson on that first rodeo, but I: did not. I didn't even learn on the second, the third, or even the fourth-fucking-time... No-no-no...I had to be broken open. My life literally had to be tipped upside down right on-my-head for me to wakey-wakey-the-fuck-up. Now- don't get me wrong, it's not that I didn't have self-awareness. I discovered that in my teens actually. Nor was it that I had never awakened before... I awakened in my 20's after a series of unfortunate shit-shows!
See the problem, the obstacle, was me. And the way I perceived things to be. I held this weird kind of disillusion that because I had awoken once already, that my work in that area was done. Man, was I wrong! Now, I'm a little more weathered, older and 100 times happier, I know that- no matter how many bloody 'awakenings' I have in this life, there is always going to be more to be had. Consciousness is like a massive tree of life with a mysterious number of branches that spread out into and epitomise the very meaning of 'infinity'. What makes it even weirder, is that we're all on our own timescales to reach said branches (don't even get me started on comparison culture!) And we don't all meet the same branches either.
Now, this is where it gets awkward...
Despite my blaming multiple, external sources for many years about my lack of happiness, success, money & overall life contentment, I had to finally wake up to the fact that the culprit to all of this was wait-for-it... me. Yes- it was very to swallow that one. No-one wants to wake up to find the problem and solution to their whole-entire-life (one word: PRESSURE) is actually the person staring back at them from the mirror. Especially when you're a hopeless romantic, who, after years of conditioning doesn't even realise that no one is actually *SPOILER ALERT* coming to rescue you (sorrynotsorry) let alone the acknowledgement of unhealthy co-dependent habits that so many of us carry as a result of these mental distortions. So many habits that weren't even ours to begin with... How did we even get here? Ever felt this way? *hand up*
So, how did I begin healing from UPS? How did I grow the courage to risk public failure? How did I get committed enough to really begin working on making my dreams a reality?
There is no quick, simple answer. It was a process... one that continues. And one that I love to teach clients who suffer the same potentially-debilitating-quirk as I do. But, today, I want to give you an insight into what moving forward as a recovering perfectionist looks like. And to breakdown how and why 'perfection' is the ultimate form of self-sabotage. Here we go...
Perfection (The Ugly Truth)
Perfection is unattainable and in reaching for the unattainable, we set ourselves up to fail. And when we begin to set ourselves up to fail, we begin to believe that we can't trust ourselves. Did you know that perfectionism is a trauma response? - It is super common in Adhders because we use perfectionism as a coping mechanism to counterbalance our tendency to make mistakes.
Progress (The Not-So-Ugly-Truth)
Progress is attainable. By setting ourselves realistic goals, we give ourselves the opportunity to show up for ourselves. And when we begin to show up for ourselves we begin to build self-trust. This is the key to building AUTHENTIC confidence.
Pro Tip: An inflated sense-of-self is not confidence, this is ego-driven smoke and mirrors behaviour produced by insecure motivations
A Simple, Beginners Guide to Progress:
Be honest with yourself: what do you want? A more organised home? More productivity? More time for yourself?- Progress begins with clarity!
Set your goals. Keep them small, timely and concise. REMEMBER@ 1000 small steps create empires!
Get to work! If you fall off, don't give up- keep going. Discomfort is a natural part of growth. Allowing space for fault and learning to love without condition is the real magic here.
Are you a Perfectionist? Do you know someone who is? Send them to this post right now!
I hope this article has been helpful for you. If you'd like a deeper insight into your journey, then book your Coaching Consultation with me today. For more posts like this one, try: My 10 Steps to Holistic Wellbeing
Sending you so much love!