Perfectionism is a trauma response to feeling shamed around your whole self-expression. Maybe it wasn’t a big thing- maybe you were simply told by someone once that your drawing sucked. Or your voice was off-pitch. Or you ran funny.
Or maybe you learned to behave or emote a certain way because that was what fit in with your family, or because that way got you praise and compliments and love.
However it happened, you learned to hide some of your self to feel good. You learned what expressions earned you more love, and which did not. And you developed a pretty sophisticated way of being that required no colouring outside the lines.
And so we become perfectionists. And these perfectionists tend to look one of two ways in my experience.
The ones who overwork, anxiously attempting to reach final perfection- all their skin is in the game, chasing some imaginary unicorn that will safely enshrine themselves in the world as good, however, the rubric defines it. They might release the thing they’ve been working on, only to be crushed when it (they) isn’t received exactly how they imagined it would be. Defeat. Try try again, this time with more vigour + higher stakes. Repeat.
And then there’s the other side of perfectionism. The side that tried really hard for a long time and now has completely pulled themselves out of the game. The ones that, given a whiff of potential failure, they run away never attempting anything difficult again.
It’s okay to want to be good, but not if it steals your essence.
We CAN change our relationship to experience our true essential perfection, without the punishing rubric. We can fail and flail and thrive, knowing we intimately belong and are worthy of love.
We can learn to be in our truth, how to use our hearts and our tongues to express ourselves as an act of love and healing. We can feel free in ourselves.
If that sparks something within you, let’s chat. Find a link to book a call in my bio.