Why we should shut the door on perfectionism
As a perfectionist you want the outside world to see you only in a certain light: nothing is ever wrong, you got it all together, always keeping your cool, knowing how to handle everything. But on the inside, there’s a different story. Underneath the need to be perfect is a strong sense of anxiety. In my case, it was a way of controlling my anxiety, which was driven by the ego promise that if other’s saw me as perfect, they’d like me and see me as good enough and lovable. The consequences of this: I lived in constant fear of making a mistake, and when I made a mistake, I experienced a sense of complete dread. I was scared that everyone would see me as a fraud, and I would end up alone. Another consequence of being a perfectionist is separation in our relationships. And yet, as humans, we crave connection!
And let’s be clear here, anxiety drives the need to show up as perfect, but the anxiety doesn’t disappear when we keep our perfectionist-mask on. It intensifies it.
The need to be perfect is ego-driven. There’s always an ego-promise of some sort: that you’ll be safe, protected, loved, good enough, etc. The act of showing up as perfect in your life only keeps you separate from others. When you expect perfection from yourself, you also expect it from others, and that alone can cause disengagement, judgment, lack of connection, and it ultimately wreaks havoc on relationships.
If I allowed my need to look perfect override my desire for connection, I would still be spinning my wheels, still hiding behind my mask of perfection. When we can let others see us without our masks, we are letting ourselves – our true authentic selves to be seen and accepted. What else do you need? It’s a beautiful thing.
Calgary Canada Life Coach Arianne Moore, Coaching for Women, helps clients worldwide