Do you feel like you work so hard, you are well educated but for some reason you never seem to get the recognition from others, the rewards or that promotion you desire?
I did for a long time. It made me unhappy. It also made me feel very insecure and lack self-worth.
There is much written about the subject of perfectionism, this is just my take on the subject. Just search on the word perfectionism on Amazon and you will find many books to read on the subject, and the pain this can cause.
Here is one great example but you can find many more.
The desire to be perfect is often linked to feelings of lack of worth and low confidence. You convince yourself that if only you were more whatever, achieved more whatever, then perhaps you would receive the love or recognition you so desire in your life. The trouble is there is always a whatever.
My issues started when I was small. My father died when I had just turned 7 after a prolonged illness, and my mother didn’t have much time for me in the aftermath. As a very small child I remember thinking that if only I was really good, and did better, then perhaps she would love me and notice me, she would want to spend time with me, and all would be well. This of course was flawed thinking, but I was only 7. What I did not realise until much later in my life, was that I carried these feelings of always wanting to please, and wanting to be better into adult life, often to my detriment.
However, we can be misled by the idea of perfectionism.
I used to think that being a perfectionist was a really positive attribute. I convinced myself it was about having high standards, driving myself to do my best at all costs. They all seemed very positive characteristics to me. It was my drive that kept me going and as a result I did very well at school. I had the competitive edge, that’s good right?
What I did not understand then, was the negative side to this way of thinking? Constantly comparing myself to others, and believing I was just not good enough. Constantly striving to be perfect became exhausting, especially in adulthood when the stakes were high and the pressure to be perfect became a real challenge. As I looked to gain promotion at work and as things got even more competitive, and when things did not always go to plan, I became very unforgiving of myself.
Sharing my own personal story with you
This very personal memory came back to me during a session of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or tapping, and it helped me to understand why I held on to my limiting beliefs in relation to being perfect for so long. This linked to my other limiting belief holding me back which was that I was not worthy, not enough.
I remember as a very small child, probably about 5 or 6 walking along the path on my own where I lived, I used to spend a lot of time on my own because of family circumstances. I remember as that small child thinking to myself if only, I could get them to notice me and pay me some attention?
It was at this point I now believe that I made the vow there and then, to try and just be a bit better each day than the last day, and to strive to be perfect.
What I now realise, years later, was that this was a result of a lack of love and recognition at a very young age. But it went on to shape my life moving forward. In some ways it was a positive vow but not as an adult when life just got a whole lot more complicated.
Research now shows us that between the ages of 0-5 our subconscious brains are like sponges and they accept our thoughts to be truths, so they lodge themselves very deeply in our subconscious brain.
No matter what I achieved, it was never enough. Despite some great achievements in my career, I continued to compare myself to others who seemed to me to be getting on quicker, achieving more and certainly earning more money.
As soon as I achieved another goal, I set myself a new one – without even allowing myself to enjoy the success I had just achieved for more than a moment. It was exhausting and I often wondered why can’t I just be satisfied with life as it is?
When people gave me compliments, I brushed them off. Perfectionists find it difficult to accept compliments, or to be able to acknowledge their achievements. They have accepted the argument that they are not worthy of those compliments, as they have not yet achieved perfectionism.
The problem with this approach in life is that often the challenges of adulthood get more and more complex and for the perfectionist, you begin to notice all the things you did wrong, the opportunities you missed, the promotions you failed to secure, you have fallen short to you vow to perfectionism.
And so, the negative spiral of thoughts can begin.
You always feel like you have failed in some small way. Despite your success.
You begin to send out that message to the Universe and it listens and so it delivers.
Your mind says, you are not perfect yet, you are not worthy of that promotion, that great new job, that next success. Even though your conscious, rationale mind knows that is not true.
But your subconscious mind can just not accept it to be true, because you are not perfect yet.
Evidence suggests that:
- This may apply to you if you are the type of person who likes to achieve and hold yourself and others to a very high standard.
- You will also relate more if you are one of those people who loves to learn or master everything you can get your hands on, or if you truly are an expert at what you do.
- Or you have held the belief for a long time that if you only just try harder to be better, the best, a perfect version of yourself, then everything will be ok?
So how can you break the chain.
- Noticing that this is something you are perhaps doing yourself.
- Taking action to stop this negative way of thinking. You might want to read one of the many books written on this subject.
- Being compassionate to yourself and seeking clarity on where these limiting beliefs come from.
- Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) or Tapping sessions can help to eliminate limiting beliefs or feelings of lack of worth. They help us to reverse these negative thoughts which are deeply embedded in our subconscious brain. They help us to silence the negative voices in our head which constantly tell us we are not good enough, we are not worthy, we are not yet perfect.
Read more about EFT at www.gillianforrestercoaching.com – Resources page Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) or Tapping @ https://gillianforrestercoaching.com/emotional-freedom-tapping-eft-or-tapping
So why not book a Clarity Session to explore where your limiting beliefs come from.