Perfection is the motor of my life.
I thrive to deliver beyond my own expectations. I do a lot to get everything right on the first attempt. I work hard. I think, I plan and I execute with precision. I am result driven. Everything I do, I wear, I say, I feel, I know, is of extreme high quality and delivered with extraordinary self-discipline.
I keep my house neat and clean at all times. My clothes are perfectly ironed. Everything I say is well researched. My body weight is always maintained below average.
It sounds pretty successful, but it’s exhausting at the same time.
The secret to living a perfect life is control. Control is the power to influence or direct the course of events. Control is the commander to accomplish perfect results.
I control what I can to function. Unplanned needs, special wishes or sudden feelings are not granted very often. They don’t help to move forward, they hinder the creation of perfect results.
Unfortunately, controlling perfection is a bottomless pit, a never ending story and a train with no destination.
I confess, I have tried to power over various aspects in my life, but I have never met my own expectations. Not a single time. I’ve been close, the last few percent are always missing. That last bit to make it perfect.
And that makes me feel ashamed of who I am. Anything less than perfect is not allowed.
These voices in my head tell me: ‘93% isn’t good enough. It’s too small. Too cheap. Too thin. Too ugly. Too stylish. Too clean. Too normal. Too over the top. It’s not good enough. Make it better.’ Those voices are loud, strong, strict, they don’t accept 93% and they won’t stop until I do it better. Until I deliver perfect results.
Perfect results are the basis of avoiding mistakes. To stay clear of failures. Perfect results are the basis of feeling enough. They are the security layer to feel worthy.
These perfectionist urges are actually both good and bad: If I do what they say, they protect me from feeling unworthy. If I don’t do what they say, however they are harsh and make me feel leave undervalued, not good enough, unqualified and undeserving.
Guess what I choose? To deliver better results.
Unworthiness is too tough to be felt.
I need to secure my daily dose of worthiness.
I am no better than a drug addict.
In theory, we always have the choice between delivering perfect results or not, however, in reality, it is at best a choice between pain and pain.
Pain to deliver perfect results is like muscling through and most of the time going entirely against our inner selves. The subconscious desire to feel enough makes us work harder, go beyond our physical limits and disregard a healthy work-life balance. As a consequence we lose the connection to our inner selves, what we feel, what our physical being is like and what we are sensing in the present moment. We constantly control the present moment in order to achieve something great in the future. It is tiring, exhausting, stressful, overwhelming as well as both physically and psychologically draining.
All this effort to ensure feeling worthy.
Imagine the pain we feel when we stand firm against those loud voices inside of us and allow the feelings of unworthiness and unvalueness to flood through us. Just for a moment to experience what it feels like when releasing the physical stress of unreachable expectations and when freeing ourselves from the pressure on our shoulders and our deeply rooted fear of failure.
What would it be like?
Would we really feel unworthy?
Would we be courageous enough to show up to our vulnerable inner self?
Is the avoidance of doing so worth all the efforts we experience to create the perfect results?
We don’t know unless we show up for ourselves, unless we leave perfection to perfection and unless we try something different. If we keep doing what we have been doing, we will keep getting what we already have. If we are brave, willing to break the perfectionist habit and begin to feel the fear of failure, we allow ourselves to process it. And process means change. Change towards something potentially better. Lighter. Easier. Freeer. Towards a life that is not hunted by voices that force and push us beyond our limits. But towards a life full of peace, inner balance, true joy and pleasure, self care and self love.
Worthiness begins within ourselves. It is the greatest requirement to treat ourselves with unlimited self love. The more we do ourselves good, do things that give us pleasure, the more we allow ourselves to self lovingly care for ourselves, the easier it will be to overcome the symptom and urge of perfection. And to ultimately feel worthy despite the delivery of imperfect results in our lives.
The answer lies inside of us. We all know what we need to do to take care of and express enormous self love to ourselves.
Maybe it’s going for a run more often. Maybe it’s spending more time with people we love. Maybe it’s reading the book we’ve been wanting to read forever. Or maybe it’s cooking our favourite meal.
Whatever it is, worthiness starts with small steps. Small steps we can repeat again and again and again until we feel safe to take the next step. To climb up the ladder towards a life we are well connected with. Connected to our true authentic selves and not pushed around by voices who are themselves only the answer of fear. A life we choose to live. A life we don’t need to take a vacation from.
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ICF certified Professional Coach
Heilpraktikerin for Psychotherapy
Coaching, self-coaching or counseling does not replace psychotherapy. Mareike Schönig Coaching reserves the right to decline requests and reference to medical doctors.