EP 26: The Paradox of Perfectionism

Sep 1, 2020

As a recovering perfectionist, I can tell you that trying to be perfect is the most sure-fire way to suck the joy out of your life.  In this episode, we explore the perils of perfectionism from a more spiritual perspective.  I explain how it develops, share some steps we can take to free ourselves from this unhealthy mindset, and recount a personal story regarding my own journey with perfectionism. 

Some key points: 

•      Spiritually speaking, you are already perfect:  your perfect nature was given to you at birth and will be there when you die.  Nothing you do here on earth could ever change that. Still, many of us spend our whole lives chasing external ideas of perfection, not realizing that we are already perfect as we are. [4:48]   

•      On a human level, nothing is perfect, and nothing is supposed to be.  Striving for perfection on a physical level will always leave us wanting. Earth is an imperfect realm;  when our souls agree to spend time on earth, we fully recognize that there will be some distortion of our true spiritual nature. [5:30]

•      What most of us think of as “perfect” has more to do with what we have been taught than with the truth of our own inner divinity. What the mind thinks is perfect is based on our social conditioning and what we have learned is good and bad, not what is uniquely right for us. [6:29]

•      Many of us develop this desire to be perfect during childhood.  We learn this from watching the adults around us, who have already learned that they are not good enough. They show us through their words, actions, and example that we too are lacking. We fall victim to perfectionism when we mistakenly believe this that being “perfect” in their eyes will earn the care and acceptance that we so deeply desire. [8:35]

•      Part of healing from perfectionism is allowing for life to be inherently messy.  Sometimes things go the way our mind envisions, but more often they do not —   remember that when things don’t go the way you think they should, it does not mean that you are any less worthy. It simply means that life has a different plan for you right now. [9:28]

Resources & Links:

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