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Is Perfectionism As Good As It Sounds?

Is Perfectionism As Good As It Sounds?

Perfectionism – umm…

Are you one of the many women in high-demand or thinking-focused jobs who tend towards perfectionism? Do you always feel you’re not good enough and you have to keep doing MORE?

Perfectionism is often seen as a Good Thing – who could argue with not wanting to do a good job? However, the pursuit of perfectionism can really wear you out!

What’s really going on?

You might not realise it, but from the emotional perspective Perfectionism is actually a protective trait. It’s often a sign that you’re in constant search for approval and love – has that ever occurred to you? A long while ago, I realised that in universities a lot of people feel like they’re not good enough. And it’s that feeling that drives them to perfectionism. It’s not because they really really want to do a great job for the excitement of success.

They’re actually driven by FOF – Fear Of Failure. Because humans will always work hard to avoid negative feelings. But then it NEVER feels like they’ve achieved enough, so they push harder and harder. And I wonder if that’s why high-achieving people, when they find out they’ve been successful, their reaction is more likely “Phew, I’m glad I didn’t stuff up!” rather than “Oh that’s so great, I’ve done such a great job, let’s celebrate!!”

So, if you feel like you’re a perfectionist, ask yourself “When I’m pushing and pushing myself to do more, to be more… what am I actually scared of if I don’t do well?”. That someone will criticize me (again)? That someone will hurt me?  That someone will hit me? Shout at me? Leave me? Totally abandon me? That I’ll feel so unloved?

You can easily read about some of the world’s top leaders who have really gotten to the top because they had a father who gave them the impression that they were NEVER good enough. So, they’re not chasing success. Far from it. Not even when they got 95% on an exam and were the most brilliant student in the country, for example. The father might say “Well, that’s all very well, but why didn’t you get 100%?” – you can never win around people like that. And often those people are actually hurting inside and need help themselves.

Where does this come from?

From my perspective as an EFT Tapping Practitioner, a lot of perfectionism and the underlying emotions are driven by earlier life experiences. Something happened to you or someone said something to you and deep down you stored away programming that you’re not good enough. And based on that you decided “Maybe if I try harder, THEN they’ll love me, THEN maybe I’ll feel accepted”. But even when you work harder or try harder, that person or people STILL don’t respond the way you need or hope for. So, you then conclude “OK, then I just need to work EVEN harder!”. It never stops. And then suddenly one day, you end up exhausted, or with chronic fatigue, or even more serious health issues.

So what can you do?

So, with EFT Tapping (Emotional Freedom Techniques) we work on identifying your real underlying drivers – which are unresolved negative emotions and past negative experiences. Then you will start getting a new feeling – that you ARE good enough! And your Perfectionist drive will settle down, so that instead of an emotional imperative, you are freed up to choose consciously where you put your time and energy. And your spirit will start to lift.

And in your mind, you’ll now say to that person “I’m not taking life advice any more from a person who needs emotional help. I’m taking back my own power, and I’M deciding from now on what counts as ‘good enough’!”

It can take some time, and you won’t necessarily get transformation in just one or two Tapping consultations… but from the first session you will start to feel changes happening already – in your body and thinking. Sound too good to be true? Check out what my clients say on my Testimonials Page.

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