I’m sure a lot of you guys can relate to the experience of succumbing to perfectionism and then burning out right after – but it’s important to note that there’s a huge difference between being a perfectionist and a high achiever. (And being a high achiever is far better for your overall health and happiness.) Over time and from personal experience, perfectionism can rob you of your peace of mind, self-esteem, motivation and quality of life. The key difference between perfectionists and high achievers is where the focus lies. Perfectionism tends to be less forgiving, come from a place of fear and steal any feelings of pride or satisfaction from things you’re actually good at. When you adopt a healthier attitude, you start to feel happy about your achievements and learn from your mistakes.
I tend to be pretty scientifically minded and gravitate towards things that are black and white; I usually tune out when I hear phrases like “energy work” or “spirit guide.” But my conversation with Kelsey J. Patel on The Blonde Files Podcast a few months ago shifted my perspective and she helped me understand how scientific healing and energy healing can coexist. To be totally honest, I felt a weight lifted after we recorded this episode; from her guiding me through my perfectionism to our conversation about trauma (we both lost friends to murder), I was able to process and work through things that I normally bottle up inside.
When I try to pinpoint what feels the most overwhelming in my everyday life, I can’t even pick one thing; it’s everything. Some weeks, I feel like I’m at this point where it’s all culminated, especially when it’s just deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. So I can’t differentiate which is more stressful – but it’s everything that I’ve taken on for myself. It’s jobs that I’ve taken on, it’s school that I’ve taken on, it’s my perfectionism where I’m putting all this pressure on myself. Then I realized that nobody else is putting the pressure on me; it’s my perception of what it is and how I think it should be.
I’ve been encouraging myself to explore these feelings of overwhelm, watch myself with radical honesty, love and acceptance and remember that I’m not doing it alone. The minute we believe we’re on our own means our control and perfectionist tendencies have hijacked us. Surrender no longer becomes an option even though it’s still available. Then those guards I just put up block my divine flow and I end up exhausting myself on a never-ending hamster wheel that *I* pulled out and *I* got on. So as a recovering perfectionist, I’m here to tell you that you have the same power to slow down the wheel with love, step off of it, put it in storage and start accepting flow.
On top of all of THAT, Kelsey also gave simple, practical tips that we can all do today to be more present and mindful. (Hello, airplane mode!) If you’re struggling with anxiety, perfectionism, distractedness or trauma, head to TBF Podcast EP93 to listen!