“At the core of perfectionism lies a view of self as weak, flawed, and easily rejected ” (Overholser & Dimaggio, 2020).
Ooof, reading this sentence was a punch to my stomach but a great reminder in my journey to overcome perfectionism. Unfortunately, the diet culture created unobtainable standards of perfectionism. For many of us, this makes us feel inadequate, insecure, and…well, imperfect.
Breaking down these patriarchal systemic beliefs has been a journey. And I still have a ways to go, but so far, it’s given me a new sense of self in embracing what it means to be human.
“Perfectionism includes a tendency for high standards for self and others with a clear goal of successful performance in a variety of areas” (Overholser & Dimaggio, 2020).
Here are the benefits I’ve experienced in overcoming perfectionism.
Feeling my emotions – Without placing a moral value or judgment. It’s not easy! But feeling the emotion without adding a looping story (in my head) moves the emotion through my body. When I felt emotion, I would visualize myself putting it in a shoebox and on a shelf in the closet to deal with later. Little did I know, the emotions ended up manifesting in unhealthy ways.
Having more human connection – I didn’t realize that letting my guard down and being vulnerable would lead to more authentic interactions. Sharing our stories with others makes up more relatable and creates stronger relationships. As a result, I have been able to make new friends and learn from others. We don’t have to suffer alone.
Laughing at myself – I use to be mortified when I would make a mistake. Mortified against a set of criteria I made up in my head. Now, I laugh at myself and give myself a pat on the back for taking the risk. I don’t have to take my life so seriously and miss out on the joyous moments.
Reducing stress levels – Not holding myself to a set of unrealistic standards has been so freeing. Doing the best that I can with the realistic set of resources and time that is available. It’s all about balance and knowing that the “Perfectionist Police” will not come knocking on my door.
Being open to new experiences and letting go of old system beliefs – Accepting that mistakes and failure will happen has allowed me to try new things and take some risks. It has also given me permission to not give in to patriarchal beliefs about women’s body image and women keeping up their homes.
So I am breaking these beliefs by eating extra cookies and occasionally not fixing the decorative pillows on my couch (this is still a work in progress).
Change is a journey and Self-Care helps me get through it. Check out some of my favorite self-care tips blog post.
Or download my Self-Care in 5 Minutes or Less ideas checklist. <<HERE>>
Overholser, J., & Dimaggio, G. (2020). Struggling with perfectionism: When good enough is not good enough. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 76(11), 2019–2027. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32860445/
Tribole, E., & Resch, E. (2012). Intuitive Eating. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Griffin. ISBN-10: 1250004047
**This post contains some “affiliate links”. Click here for more info.