Disclaimer: Perfectionism means something different to each of us. That said, read on for some keys to thriving and staying balanced for on-going success and fulfillment in your life.
Perfectionism Comes With Major Consequences for Millions of People
I’ve read articles on “good vs. bad perfectionism,” and I suppose that’s one way of looking at all this, but from where I sit, the word itself is a toxic one (when we look at the big picture in current society), so I choose to stay clear of it altogether, choosing what I feel is a much more open, compassionate and insightful way to think and feel about myself and my patterns (I work at it daily).
The reality is that for a ton of people around this world of ours, anxiety, toxic stress, self-doubt, depression and endless comparison to others are thoughts that race in vicious, self-sabotaging circles. These patterns of thought result in behaviors and decisions being made that push people further from their goals in every area of life – if we allow them to.
An Uncomfortable Term for Many: Self-Compassion
I walked into a therapist’s office in Calgary, Alberta, Canada two years ago and heard the term “compassion-focused therapy” for the first time in my life at the age of 37. I literally only had one session with that therapist before moving back across the country to Ontario, Canada, but she had planted an incredibly powerful seed that would change my life in an instant – it was one of those “turning point” moments for me, a new way of looking at my life, a new way of “framing” my day to day reality, be it my past or present. It just “clicked,” and I haven’t looked back.
Learning about the power of compassion toward the self has added years to my life, I’m convinced. It has lowered my stress levels, blood pressure, and it has made life so much more mindful now, as I squeeze every drop of gratitude and savoring each moment as I can while simultaneously being gentle on myself when things don’t go well at times.
You’re Human, So Consistency Will Largely Determine Your Future Success
Life is a journey. You know that, and so do I, but like me, you need to be reminded of that from time to time, especially if you’re as driven as I am toward your goals, whatever they are. It has taken me many years to learn the lesson that you can’t control everything and “force” success to come your way in a rush – I had to learn the hard way, and I’m on blood pressure medication now as a result (at least partly). That’s OK! At least I’m learning. That is all that matters. It truly is.
None of us are the same – we all do this thing called “life” in our own ways, learning as we go. The key is to make self-compassion a daily ritual, but (again) remember to be gentle on yourself – you do NOT need to be “perfect” at it! What the hell does “perfect” even mean, anyway? Do your best and keep working on it, investing in the beauty and artistry that is YOU (even if you don’t feel that good about yourself right now). I promise that you’ll never go wrong by working on yourself. It isn’t easy, but it is so amazingly worth it in the long run.
Turning Off The “Noise” is Crucial. Learn To Sit With Yourself
When I say “noise,” I’m referring to the negative energy you’ll encounter from others at times, and the negative self-talk you likely experience to some degree – we all have it, but truly successful (fulfilled) people know that the key isn’t to try and eliminate those thoughts – they will always exist. The way to overcome them is by building gradually-stronger empowering self-talk “muscles” and patterns. I can do a post on that as a follow-up if you’d like – just let me know in the comments.
I constantly come across negativity on social media networks, but my “radar” is set to seeing the good in the vast majority of cases, though some issues do need to be discussed that aren’t pretty – that’s a part of reality, something we must not be in denial about, but do in a constructive, growth-mindset type of way.
I could do hundreds of blog posts on this topic alone, so let me know what you’d like to see more of!
Yours in purpose and empowerment,