Have you ever had a moment where you said something to someone else, but it slapped you in the face? I recently had a session with a client where we discussed control and perfectionism. Before I even fully realized what was coming out of my mouth, I said that perfectionism is often the result of an inner struggle between wanting to be yourself, but showing up as your perception of who others want you to be instead.
Read that again.
When you don’t feel safe enough to present your full self to people, whether by their own suggestion or yours, you will project a version of yourself that is reflective of what you think people expect of you, AND/OR what you perceive makes you most palatable.
For many who have experienced trauma and brokenness in any form, there are various manifestations of its effects in the way you show up in the world.
Trauma has the best marketing team in the world, because it can get you to act and move in ways that promote its agenda, especially when you’re not actively aware.
Perfectionism is one of the ways.
No one genuinely enjoys the pressure to be perfect. It can actually be very anxiety-inducing. However, if the feedback you receive is praise for rarely messing up, it’s a hard habit to break. But it’s one you MUST break for your own good and the good of others.
Here’s the thing, you don’t want anyone in your life who does not encourage and love you in your most authentic form. How sad would it be to reach old age and realize you lived for everyone else’s comfort, while never experiencing the joy of your own desires being fulfilled?
The gag is, what we PERCEIVE that others expect from us, is contradictory to what they actually need and value.
People value transparency and seeing the raw reality of others, because it affirms their own life experiences. Consider the last documentary you watched that centered around a celebrity. You likely held them in higher regard because you understand their “behind the scenes” much more clearly.
There is much to be admired about Type-A personalities. We need their structure, attention to detail, and regulatory skills. Perfectionism, however, is a dysfunctional adaptation to feeling inadequate.
YOU ARE ENOUGH! Flaws and all.
You may need to mature in some areas, however, that does not mean you have to be perfect.
Don’t allow trauma to ruin the beauty of life, by trying to perfect it all in your own strength. Let God perfect (mature) all that concerns you, but enjoy your self-experience throughout the journey.
Remember, life is better when you're healing ❤️