Un-learning Perfectionism


“Perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order.” - Anne Wilson Shaef

Perfectionism. Friend or foe?

We all know those people that are self-proclaimed perfectionists. Sometimes we are that person. A job is almost done, but we can’t let go yet. It isn’t perfect. We keep working, keep tweaking, keep perfecting. Then in a moment, we over-do it. We mess it up. We’re mad at ourselves. Then, the process begins again. You know the feeling. Perfectionism is a hamster wheel. You go round and round, yet we don’t know when we got on, and we certainly don’t know how to get off.

Is perfectionism innate, or is it taught? As we grow up, we are taught to do our absolute best and to avoid mistakes at all costs. We learn that we will be rewarded for “perfection,” and punished for anything less than. While demanding the best of ourselves and others can be a good quality, where does one draw the line? How do we know if we’re going over the top in the pursuit of perfection? When do we come to the realization that we’re actually harming ourselves along the way?

For the self-proclaimed perfectionists out there, Schaef’s statement that perfectionism is akin to self-abuse may come across as harsh and startling… but don’t you agree? Are you overly hard on yourself when you don’t need to be? When did you learn this, and how can you un-learn it?

To begin the process of unlearning, try setting some daily intentions with your All Weather Bangles to combat the negative effects of perfectionism. Here are five of our go-to’s.

  1. Today I will be accepting of myself and others.

  2. Today I will let go. What’s meant to be will be.

  3. Today I will speak positively to myself and others.

  4. Today I will celebrate my wins, both big and small.

  5. Today I will trust the process, even when it’s messy.

So go ahead, this is your invitation to get off the hamster wheel of perfectionism, BuDhaGirl. We think you’re perfect just as you are.

Posted on February 1, 2019 and filed under Words of Wisdom, Mindfulness.