Healing From Perfectionism

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Dear soft hearted loves,

Does perfectionism continue to block you from being you? Does perfectionism exhaust you? Or perhaps you feel you are so far from perfect that perfectionism can’t be an issue for you.

The inner critic who lives in perfectionism may attack your performance, work, eating, or other things you do or services you provide. Rigidly holding onto a high standard may even hold you back from being able to complete a project on time. For example, perhaps a person was only given attention when they cleaned perfectly or did assignments perfectly. If we grew up with a love deficit or attention limited household some of us may give up on trying to be perfect or try super super hard to get more love through being perfect. Therefore,I honor all parts of us who feel pulled to perfectionism. We can affirm, give ourselves a break, or highlight our contributions.

The perfectionist may have gotten us out of getting yelled at as a child or may have even served you in adulthood. For example, my perfectionistic inner critic helped me graduate graduate schools and go on to serve many patients. However, it no longer serves me well to believe the messages of this rigid little perfectionist within. In fact, the perfectionist could correlate with burn out or resentment. For example, someone may feel driven to accept all the clients their boss refers to them only to end up exhausted, with compassion fatigue, and annoyed with the boss and themselves for having accepted the clients.

In order to heal from perfectionism I’d want us to have discernment between what’s perfectionism and what’s reality. The chatter in our mind may sound like chatter, but through meditation or gently observing and witnessing our own thoughts we may notice a charge, heaviness, or racing feeling. We may notice thoughts pressuring us to be “just right,” that we aren’t doing or being enough, or that we are not performing perfectly. Said voice needs to be acknowledged from helping us get praise, helping us survive, and helping us get more love. We can go back to our inner child or utilize internal family systems to discover what this part of us did when we were younger.

When I drive home from work I give myself the praise I would’ve wanted. I briefly inventory my interactions in my mind. I praise myself for times I was supportive, compassionate, present, and did something helpful rather than harmful. This allows me to obtain the love I seek from within. May we acknowledge this arising, gain discernment to know the difference between our truth and perfectionism, and give ourselves what we need.

With kindness,

Dr. Joharchi

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