In last week’s blog I talked about the deeper seated force at play causing the modern woman’s plight of….
Overwhelm. Burnout. Imposter Syndrome. Distorted Body Image. Anxiety. Self-Doubt. Procrastination. Perfectionism. Analysis Paralysis. Guilt + Shame. Comparisonitis.
What’s this deeper seated force?
I call it the “Perfect Woman Imperative.”
Make sure you check out last week’s blog post if you want to go deeper on this.
In a nutshell: The Perfect Woman Imperative is the narrative that’s ingrained into our culture, society, marketing that says you’ve got to BE perfect, LOOK perfect and ACT perfect. Aka: do all the things for all the people and make sure you balance everything juuuusssst right.
I’ve spoken to many women in my community about the need to be “perfect” and for many of you perfectionism is a real challenge.
For some of you perfectionism is:
…..robbing you of your time and energy so that you can get further ahead with your plans.
….taking you away from the other areas of your life that really matter to you – like your relationships, your kids, your health.
….quite frankly burning and stressing you out.
Whilst perfectionism can seem like a positive trait to have — it’s actually coming from a fearful place of “not enoughness.”
Trying to be perfect is not only unproductive (seriously how many times do you have to tweak that presentation, or scroll until you find that perfect summer dress or rehearse how to ask for that raise)….
….Perfectionism is robbing you of your happiness, your joy and inherent worth as a woman.
Now before I go on, I want to stress that maintaining high standards and healthy striving is DIFFERENT to perfectionism. And the former is a good thing!
Unless you make this important key distinction between healthy striving to learn and grow vs. perfectionism….you’ll forever be on the treadmill of trying to keep up and be “enough” questioning yourself at every turn.
Short on time? Read on for the transcript:
For a lot of women, perfectionism is a big challenge in your career.
But there’s an important difference between perfectionism and healthy striving.
Perfectionism comes from a critical place.
It looks like a taskmaster sitting on your shoulder saying:
You’ve got to do better
It’s not good enough
Whereas healthy striving is more about having an open attitude:
I’m going to see where I can go
I’m going to see what my growth edge is
What more can I do
Healthy striving has a very different feeling and energy about it.
I invite you to think about how you can start to incorporate more healthy striving in your career vs. this perfectionist tendencies into your life.
Let’s face it.
Perfectionism can eat into a lot of areas in your life.
It’s not actually an admirable trait.
If you’re stuck at your desk looking at something for the 100th time you’re perhaps not making the best use of your time.
Maybe you’re improving what you’re working on by 1% but does that 1% really make a difference?
You could instead use that time spent on perfecting on other things which are important. Things like…
- Spending time with loved ones
- Spending time with friends
- Being creative
- Travel, adventure, and fun!
These things make for a more wholesome life which is what we’re here to do, too after all!
We’re here to enjoy life and a career that matters.
If you find that you’re a perfectionist I highly recommend this book by Brene Brown called The Gifts of Imperfection.
Brene is my girl crush and in the book she talks about how to live a wholehearted life and letting go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embracing who you are.
Her example of this perfectionism vs. healthy striving goes like this.
Quote from page 58 of her book:
Like most women, I struggle with body image, self-confidence and the always complicated relationship between food and emotions. Here’s the difference between perfectionism diets and healthy goals:
Perfectionism self-talk: “Ugh. Nothing fits. I’m fat and ugly. I’m ashamed of how I look. I need to be different than I am right now to be worthy of love and belonging.”
Healthy striving self talk: “I want this for me. I want to feel better and be healthier. The scale doesn’t dictate if I’m loved and accepted. If I believe that I’m worthy of love and respect now. I will invite courage, compassion and connection into my life. I want to figure this out for me. I can do this.”
When you’re in this perfectionist trap you’re doing this because you “should” because you “have to”. It’s very much this taskmaster energy.
Whereas if you’re coming from this healthy striving approach you’re getting back into your power and making choices for yourself.
That’s the heart of it ladies, you’re enough just the way you are.
You have the right to make your own choices.
But the way you talk to yourself in the process is huge. It’s not about what you do, it’s about the way in which you approach things.
I invite you to make a conscious choice for yourself now:
Do you want to be a taskmaster driving yourself to perfectionism?
Are you going to adopt a healthy striving approach where you’re going to be nice, kind and compassionate to yourself?
Leave a comment and let me know.
I’m super curious to know what choice you’re going to make?
If you have any challenges, share them below.
Remember clearing these sort of blocks, getting your head on straight with these things is what’s going to help you do the work you’re here to do.
So that you can find that beautiful sweet spot that fulfills you on the inside and creates the outer impact and success too.
Plus you’ll be modeling a different way for other women to do their best in their own unique way and drop the need to be so damn perfect. ALL.THE.TIME.
We’re in this together!