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.
Last year I decided to embark on an intensive trauma resolution program with Rachael Maddox 8 months out of losing my mother.
While I had brought on significant support to help me transition into life post-loss, there was one area in my life that screamed at me: my desire to dream + build towards that dream.
In the wake of loss after loss, I found myself cycling between anxious and numb when it came to the next steps in my life; building a life, building my business.
My capacity to believe I could dream or goal set or expect any kind of sustained goodness in my life had come crashing down around me and I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t JUST PUSH THROUGH.
Research shows that trauma significantly impacts our pursuit of personally meaningful goals, which directly impacts our personal well-being.
“Why dream for something if it can be ripped violently from your hands?” said my trauma. I was experiencing what the research calls a “sense of a foreshortened future”- I felt deep helplessness, an inability to overcome what I had internalized as a chaotic Universe that would SURELY take everything from me in an instant. Desiring anything was only painful, receiving it excruciating.
And, this wasn’t just about my healing, it was in my DNA. My parents both lost their fathers in their teens. My father’s favourite song was “Here for a good time, not a long time”- we played it at his burial.
And so it was the part of me and my lineage that screamed out for healing. That part that knew that old ways weren’t leading to liberation. An evolution of my tools was required.
And that’s what drew me to Rachael. What fuelled the desire for repatterning towards self-sovereignty, intimate belonging and clearer co-creation.
And slow, somatic healing was my new way; breath by breath by breath.
And I’m so grateful.
And if this support sounds like balm on your belly, let’s chat. Go here to book a complimentary call.