The Dark Cloud of Perfectionism


The dark cloud of perfectionism has been looming overhead for most of my adult life. In my personal and professional life, decisions are always "maximized" and I'm harder on myself than anyone else has ever been. 

Entering the well-being space has made me more aware of my perfectionist tendencies than ever before. When I first started out, I was worried what people might think if they saw me eating french fries or drinking a beer. I don't have six pack abs and can't do an unassisted pull-up (yet).

I'm realizing lately that the maximizer mentality leaves little room for mindful gratitude, self-confidence, and when it comes to decision making- wastes valuable time.

Research professor, speaker, and author Brene Brown, PhD wrote

“Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgement, and shame. It’s a shield. It’s a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from flight.”

When I gave it some thought, I realized that the judgement piece is what resonated with me the most. In my life, perfectionism shows up as a dark cloud-dimming the light of achievement and decision making. I get so wrapped up in fear of judgement that I end up swimming in negative self-talk and paralyzed in decision making.

 I've decided that it's time to put down the shield, and leave the cloud behind me. Existence can't be about the pursuit of perfection anymore. There are many times when "good enough" is okay. "Good enough" are the words that keep me moving forward on small tasks so that I can achieve my bigger goals.

Are you a perfectionist? How has it impacted you? Where could you use "good enough?"