4 Powerful Antidotes to Perfectionism
At its’ core, perfectionism is when we focus on ‘form’ overflow. It happens when we get so caught up on how we think things ‘should’ be,that we abandon the flow of our natural inspiration and creativity. We allowourselves to get caught up in the obsessive details.
Perfectionism is a black hole of time and energy, and is one of the arch nemesis’ of a successful and happy life.
Perfectionism doesn’t happen in a vacuum, it happens for areason. It’s a natural response to an unnatural situation. Perfectionism is adefense mechanism that our ego uses to protect us.
It’s there to try and make us feel safe by keeping us small.
But as with all patterns. Our pattern of perfectionism can be transformed by using the 4 powerful antidotes below.
Antidote 1 — Keep thingsSimple
We don’t want to shock our ego or unconscious mind by tryingto jump off a cliff everyday to get out of our comfort zones.
Some of us have been in a protective perfectionist bubble fora long time (probably most of our lives in one way or another), and so littleand often is the best medicine.
Perfectionism wants to make things as complicated aspossible.
It does this so that we’re never able to get the big thingsdone, and so it keeps us small and ‘safe’.
To get around this, a vital part of saying ‘No’ toperfectionism, is to keep things simple.
Take something you’re struggling with… it feels kind ofoverwhelming right?
The first thing you want to do is simplify it.
Then strip it back again.
Then ask yourself “how can I make this even easier?”
Then simplify it again.
Do this another few more times until you literally can’t makeit any simpler than it already is.
When things are simple, they’re sweeter, and we’re morelikely to do them, (and do them well!).
Revisit this antidote of simplicity often to stop yourself from getting hung up on the details, and allowing the complications to creep back in.
Antidote 2 — Take (little)Inspired Actions
Rather than taking too much on all at once and settingyourself up for overwhelm, take small, right actions as and when you feelinspired to do so.
Don’t feel like doing a particular task right now? Leave itfor tomorrow and do something else instead!
Still don’t want to do it tomorrow?.. Well then maybe it’snot worth doing.
If you notice there are any tasks you really don’t like doing, or are taking up an inordinate amount of time, go back to Antidote 1 and simplify, simplify, simplify.
Antidote 3 — Focus on theMeaning, not the Fluff
When we fall into the perfectionism trap, it’s often becausewe’ve lost sight of our “Why”.
If you feel that you’re focusing too much on the details askyourself ‘why’ you’re doing this work in the first place.
Make some time, clear a space, and meditate on that questionfor a while.
Get to the core of why you feel drawn to the kind ofwork you do..
Why you want to help people in this way..
Why you want to serve at this particular altar..
Then, when you feel clear again, and anchored deeply to yourwhy, create your ‘how’ from that space.
Perfectionism doesn’t live in the why, it lives in the how. So anytime you feel you feel it creeping back in, bring your attention back to the why.. keep it simple.. and then take some small, inspired actions.
Antidote 4 — Accept Yourself
When you own your vulnerabilities, you give others thepermission to own theirs. And they will love you for it.
When people see you being real, and admitting you’re not‘perfect’.. but in fact have your own quirks that you accept / can’t stand /think are funny / want to cry and hide from / or are working to embrace. Itrelaxes them and helps them to feel safe in your presence.
It lets them in on a little secret. That it’s OK to be you.
That they don’t have to pretend to be someone they aren’twhen they’re around you.
That they can be themselves, as messy and weird and imperfectas they are, and that you can be too. This is the basis for all true andmeaningful connections.
The next time you’re speaking with someone, and avulnerability comes up. Try sharing it with them and see what happens. You maybe surprised!