Two Tips for Managing Perfectionism
So many of my students are perfectionists and I really relate to this because I’m hard on myself too. If you put a lot of pressure on yourself this is the right episode for you:
I was at a dance class once and we did an improv warm-up. The teacher was like, “move like you’re sad, move like it’s sunny, move like it’s windy, move like you’re happy.” She had all these different prompts and then I made a joke that we should move like you’re thinking about something weird you did in 2007. Everyone laughed because everyone related to bringing up something in your mind that you’ve done wrong before and replaying it in your head.
My mentor Megan McDowell always tells me that sometimes I don’t want to accept my humanness. All that means is that I have limitations and that as a human I fall short at times. It’s not even really that you’re falling short it just is that you are human. I did an interview with Megan here that’s on feeling big feelings and if you’re perfection-y I am SURE you’re working through some big feelings:
If you’re someone who ruminates on things you’ve did wrong or something that you feel bad about, remember shortcomings are part of being human. Your limitations make you human; not something to continue to beat yourself up about.
When I’m being hard on myself, I find it really helpful to just identify my own humanness. I name the mistake as my humanness and in recognizing it for what it is, it sort of dissipates. I don’t hold the same standards for myself that I was the moment before I pointed out my humanness.
An exercise I do when I’m getting in a perfection-y rumination spiral is I have a chat with the 80 year old version of myself so it’s Grandma Maggie in my head. I have a conversation with this older wiser version of myself that has lived more life than I’ve lived right now and I kind of see what she has to say about it. Whether it’s through journaling or meditation. She NEVER tells me to beat myself up more. She mostly just tells me to let it go. It’s always really helpful to have this loving conversation with the older wiser version of myself. You could even see it as maybe talking to your higher-self.
If you’re someone who identifies as a perfectionist I am holding space for you and I get it! Sending everyone so much love!