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Episode 13 - Letting Go Of Perfection

podcast Oct 24, 2019

Perfectionism is something that I’ve seen in so many patients that I treat as a psychologist. I was also a perfectionist myself and now call myself a “perfectionist in recovery.” I have struggled with it and I also see so much of it in other women which is why I decided to talk about it in today’s episode.

I’ll be breaking perfectionism down for you to help you let go of this epidemic that can destroy not only you, but the people you around you as well. So it’s super important to be able to be aware of it and then let it go. It’s not an easy thing to do but it’s something you can always work towards.

Before I start the episode, I want to share that my new ebook “Ending Mama Guilt: How to Find Happiness, Set Boundaries, and Engage in Self-Care without Guilt” is now out for free. Head over to mamashrink.com to grab your own copy now.

  • [03:33] Perfection is something that is externally driven. Something that you want to achieve to better yourself and feel good about is internally driven.
  • [04:53] Perfectionism is an epidemic. Its symptoms manifest in different ways in different disorders. It doesn’t only take a toll on yourself but on your relationships, as well.
  • [06:37] Perfection is impossible. You have to know when it’s enough.
  • [07:34] The 10 signs of perfectionism: setting extremely high standards, extremely self critical, highly concerned about others view you, need for approval, failure is not an option, need for things to be flawless, inability to relax unless everything is in order, rigidity and thinking, you want to please others, and you never achieve enough because there’s always more. Do any of these ring a bell for you?
  • [09:23] “We can’t change it until we own it.” You have to own that something rings through to you and then you can start to change it. But also recognize that change is hard and takes practice.
  • [10:03] The problem with perfectionism is that it comes with perks such as secondary gains which is why we keep engaging in it and have a hard time letting go of it. Some examples are: we feel proud we aren’t lazy, we get straight A’s, we have a successful job, a perfect body, and so on.
  • [11:07] The heart of perfectionism is being highly concerned about what others think of you. Perfection is externally driven - it’s worrying about what other people think. It’s hard to let go of because it’s natural for us to compare ourselves to other people.
  • [12:32] Think about what this is passing down to our children. They see and absorb what we model for them. Sometimes we don’t realize that we’re passing on perfectionism to our children.
  • [14:40] The perks of perfectionism come at a huge cost. You have to realize it, take a step back and let things go. It is toxic!
  • [16:51] No one is perfect. It’s important to say it to yourself and say it out loud. It’s impossible because there’s always something else that you’ll feel the need to be perfect at.
  • [18:20] Separate perfectionism from achieving. Achieving things is fine but it’s not going to be perfect and you’ll probably achieve less if they have to be perfect. Procrastinators are often perfectionists. Perfectionism can stop you from achieving a lot of things in your life.
  • [21:16] Be aware of perfectionism. Perfectionism is an all time high and a lot of research is pointing towards social media where we constantly compare ourselves to others and put things onto us that may not be realistic.
  • [23:14] Top things that lead to being perfectionistic: genetics and growing up in homes with abuse, neglect, overly controlling parents, or incompetent parents.
  • [27:58] Our kids need to feel they belong. By belonging it means that no matter what happens in the outside world, they will feel they belong in their family. It ties up to perfectionism when they feel that they aren’t good enough or they are not allowed to make mistakes. Make your kids feel that your home is their safe place. If they don’t feel they belong in their own home or family, they are going to feel the need to be perfect and create a facade in order to fit in.
  • [29:51] Sometimes perfectionism can keep us from truly being seen or showing how we really are.
  • [30:45] Perfectionism isn’t an easy thing to overcome. Here are some things you can do: have support and a group around you to be honest with, start practicing self compassion, stop comparing yourself to other people, allow yourself to do “B” work instead of always having it to be “A” work, remind yourself that you can always do more but “when is it enough?”, lower your expectations of yourself and other people, realize that if we don’t let go of perfection we are going to be constantly chasing something that’s never achievable.
  • [36:20] Imperfection is what we need to embrace. Give yourself permission to not have to be perfect.

My first ever course soon called “Happy Momma = Happy Child” is launching in December. It is especially designed to help you become the best mom you can be to be a better parent and mother. I would like to invite you to be a part of the beta launch of this life-changing course. If you are interested, get on my waitlist for it at [email protected] or on my website, mamashrink.com. As soon as I launch, you’ll be the first ones to be notified.


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