the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects.
I have been a perfectionist for as long as I can remember. I won’t bore you with the why or how I think became a perfectionist. I’m sure it’s stems from trying to control my environment growing up and feelings of not being good enough. Fast forward to adulthood, my perfectionism has transcended into my career, family-life, and social life.
My actual words in interviews many years ago when asked to describe one of my strengths: “I’m a perfectionist. I’m someone that likes projects to be 100%. I don’t like mistakes and rarely make them.”
The truth is, I’ve been very hard on myself most of my young adult years. I’ve constantly second guessed myself, overthought, and been uber critical of my every move. It’s been exhausting. It wasn’t till I had a daughter who started to get older and began picking up on these perfectionist habits of mine. Not trying new things. Overthinking to the point of inaction. Anxiety. And let me be clear. My kids are in a very different environment than I was growing up. They have stability, open communication, emotionally aware and capable parents. But clearly my daughter was mirroring my behavior. This scared the shit out of me. I DID NOT want my daughter going through life the way I was. So I decided to make some changes mentally for myself.
The first thing I did was try to change the way I spoke to myself and about myself. I thought about how I speak to my children…why am I not speaking to myself like that? Building myself up, instilling confidence, saying YOU CAN DO IT! Affirmations were a big part of this because at first I struggled coming up with exactly what to say to myself. I bought a pack of affirmation cards from Amazon and put them in places that I would see them all of them time. My bathroom mirror, my nightstand, the dashboard of my car, my desk. A constant reminder and a script of how to speak to myself. Repeat. Over and over until the words became automatic in my head. And when I’m struggling internally nowadays, the affirmation cards are one of the first things I go to for help.
By changing your internal dialogue you automatically change your interaction with yourself. If you can get on the right track, talking to yourself the right way, you can change your entire life. It may seem impossible but remember, anything is possible if you are consistent and patient!
I hope I have convinced you to start working on your perfectionism just by changing the way you speak to yourself. It’s not an easy thing and it was certainly not easy for me to change. It will be hard, but the payoff is huge. By no means am I fully recovered from a perfectionist mentality…I still struggle with it at times. But the difference is that now I can feel it coming on rather than it taking over and me not even realizing. And when I do slip up, I know how to combat the thought and get myself out of that negative place.
If I can help you with negative self-talk, affirmations, perfectionism, or anything else, please reach out.