Goal Focused, Personal Development

Can You Find Your Authentic Self, Overcome Your Fears and Achieve Success When You’re a Perfectionist?

If anyone ever tells you that the path to success is easy, run far away because that person has no idea what they are talking about! My entire journey (along with mostly everyone else who has worked to achieve a goal) has been a rollercoaster of highs and lows. Sometimes, those highs and lows happen all in the same week, day, hour or even minute!

Over these last few weeks, I have been in a valley. Not like one of my typical low points, but a funky and confusing low. I’ll compare it to the very bottom of the ocean where there is no light. There are weird looking fish and you don’t know which way is up. I wasn’t depressed, let’s not get dramatic, but I was lost. I left a session with my coach on a Tuesday, happy and confident in who I was as a brand and the direction I was going. Within a matter of days I had no idea what my brand was, who I was helping or if I was even doing what I was supposed to be doing. This resulted in me hardly being active on social media, I bought a book that I don’t think fits me (I’m only a quarter of the way through it so I’ll keep you posted) and I didn’t do my homework assignment for my next coaching session. All of that to say, I let this funk stall my progress forward in my business and in my personal development.

Fortunately, I had another coaching session this week and my coach helped me unpack all of the confusion and lies that I have been hoarding for quite some time. Full disclosure: I will not admit that I am cured, but I will admit that my mind is more clear and I am taking it day by day. So let’s talk about what I learned. I have always felt inauthentic, like a fraud, like I’m not deserving (even after…..”but God”) of the good things that happen to me or that I dream about for my future (Google “imposter syndrome“). I was never able to understand why….until yesterday. 

I’m a perfectionist. Perfectionism is defined as, “a personality trait characterized by a person’s striving for flawlessness and setting high performance standards, accompanied by critical self-evaluations and concerns regarding others’ evaluations.”

That’s totally me.

My perfectionism has created a fear of failure within in me that has shaped my perspective on pretty much every area of my life. Here are a few ways that I have been impacted:

  • I try to be who I feel others want me to be vs who I want to be.
  • I have a hard time letting others see the real me
  • I have a need for control over my image and the image of others
  • I feel like I always have to have the answers, not only for myself but for others, especially my clients

So much of my confusion around what a potential client would want my services for is because I have been trying to put said potential clients into a box. I have been trying to control the reasons why they would want to use me. *insert jaw drop here…*

Don’t get me wrong, being a perfectionist isn’t completely a bad thing. There are many positive qualities such as high ambition, high standards (which can also be a negative) and a strong motivation to see results. According to one article, perfectionists make up approximately 80% of “successful” people. The author didn’t elaborate on what classified someone as successful so we’ll consider this a loose statistic, but I’m sure it’s not too far off base.

Based on drive and ambition alone, it is completely possible to be the world’s version of “successful.” If fact, my fierce determination comes in handy when I’m coaching and motivating others towards their own version of success. With that being said, it is how one defines success that is key. I personally define success as making a positive impact in the lives of others by doing something you’re passionate about. You have to be true to yourself to be true to others. By my definition, I am currently failing in the success department, but I am hopeful.

Once we recognize something within us that needs improvement, we are capable of change. It takes diligence, a lot of self-awareness, mindfulness and some solid accountability partners but it’s 100% possible. If you have identified at all with my story, I encourage you to join me on this road to a more balanced set of expectations coupled with a lot of grace. I’m not kidding, leave me a note and tell me what you want to work on! We can do this together. The more people we have in our corner cheering us on, the better. I will keep you updated on my progress from time to time too. Accountability, right? Are you a reformed perfectionist? Share your tips!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to start working on that coaching homework I never got done!



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