Brene Brown, a researcher, storyteller, and giver of the all-time best TED talk ever (in my opinion), is a personal hero and someone I consider my online BFF who has given the universe several notable books. I have read them all, listened to them all, and re-read most again.
I love her study and work on how shame works, how she introduced the concept of competing priorities, which most women must learn to navigate, and what genuine empathy looks like.
Her work has improved my life by understanding my internal dialogue, including her eye-opening research on perfectionism, which has to be one of the hardest lessons to shake.
I struggle with it daily, and I often find clients also stuck in its self-destructive, unattainable, and additive behavior. Perfectionism creates and the shame that takes place.
What Perfectionism Is:
In her book, Atlas of the Heart, Brene defines perfectionism as:
Using perfectionism as a way to motivate yourself, complete tasks, and by wasting time trying to manage the perception of others is unhealthy for striving for excellence.
What Perfectionism is Not:
What to Do When Stuck in Perfectionism:
Here are a couple of action steps I've used to shake perfectionism in that moment.
1. Pay attention and listen to your inner dialogue. If you are being harsh and critical, it may signal that you are being perfectionistic. You will need to flip the script and talk to yourself like a best friend. Beating yourself up is demotivating and you need to catch yourself.
2. Be sure to note your intentional steps that you made. Remember nothing is to small to celebrate the progress made. It is vital to reflect on what was accomplished, even if it feels minimal.
I'm curious to know which of these steps are you willing to try? Have you find a way to 'shortcut' your addiction to perfection? Please let me know.
DeShawn Wert works with intelligent, motivated, professionals on how to get stuff done so they CAN relax and enjoy the fruits of their labor! Let's explore how you do your best work together. An Ericson-trained life coach and JTS Coaching-trained ADHD coach, DeShawn is a member of good standing in the ADHD Coaches Organization. She's been a contributor to several books on living with ADHD, including Dr. Dale Archer's book, The ADHD Advantage, and Laurie Dupar's series called, More Ways to Succeed with ADHD.