Have you ever identified as a perfectionist? Have you noticed the ways it holds you back? Let’s dive into the problems with perfectionism, how to recognize its destruction, and how to stop your perfectionism from holding you back.

The problem with perfectionism is that it leaves you feeling insecure and stops you from chasing after what you really want. The thing is, perfectionism really hinders us from being able to move forward with what we want. When we don’t feel worthy, we’ll always downgrade our ability to EARN, love, grow, etc.

So, let’s dive into your perfectionist patterns and make a game plan to release the grip it may have over you.

My Battle with Perfectionism

I share a lot of my story and the main points from this article on a recent episode of my Embracing Human Podcast. Take a listen:

Searching for perfectionism has been one of the most devastating journeys of my life. My perfectionist tendencies started really young, growing up acting on stage and yearning for the approval of the audience. I learned to want approval from everyone in my life – teachers, my parents, friends, strangers. It became an obsession that nearly ruined me.

While I was the “perfect student” in school – honors student, in many clubs, body president, etc. – I was also spending nearly every night drinking or smoking to cope with the pressure I put on myself. In college, I worked two full-time jobs while trying to keep up decent grades. I allowed myself to be underpaid, overworked, and I slept for a few hours of sleep every night.

That’s me, in the very middle.

Again, I was too obsessed with pleasing everyone else and continued to find unhealthy ways to cope.

When I was married, I did everything in my power to be the “perfect wife.” I read all the blogs, kept the house perfect, kept myself fit, made all the meals, created strict budgets for myself, etc. And yet, my perfectionism just pushed my ex-husband away. It was a major reason for our marriage falling apart.

Do you relate to any of this?

Perfectionism is bullshit. It keeps us from our authentic selves, shreds all levels of confidence, and puts us on a cycle of never reaching our goals (because we are always pushing them further out).

It’s freaking exhausting, huh? Enough is enough.

Labeling Your Perfectionism

I’ve found that the most important step in any growth journey is becoming really clear on your patterns and what causes them. With perfectionism, identifying where the lie of perfectionism comes from can be a great step in releasing the false beliefs.

Take a look at these categories and see if you can make sense of where yours comes from (and if you’re like me, it may be all three).

Self-Imposed Perfectionism

When it’s self-imposed, we expect ourselves to be perfect or the need to earn everything. Generally, this stems from our own false beliefs that we’re not good enough and that we constantly have to prove that we belong or are worthy of love, success, etc.

When it’s self-imposed, the lack of belief in yourself is what drives you to aim for perfection, not because anyone told you that you should. This is more obvious with those of us who tend to have a lot of negative self talk and engage in self criticism.

This means, the work we need to do is purely internal to change our beliefs.

High Standards Perfectionism

Do you have high expectations and judgments for other people?

When you feel like your deal with a lot of perfectionism and can’t seem to shake your judgments of other people, I’d take a closer look at the judgement piece. When you have high standards for other people, you ultimately expect the same for yourself. (And may find more self criticism here.)

Where did these judgments start?

Forgiveness is key here! The more you can work for forgive yourself and those you judge, the more you’ll start to release the grips of perfectionism.

Socially Imposed Perfectionism

When the perfectionism has a social origin, it stems from the idea or belief that everyone expects you to be perfect or fulfill high standards. This is probably the one I see the most!

If your parents or your school expected a lot from you, you form a belief that unless you aim for the perfect score, 100%, you’re not enough. You may have picked up these beliefs at church (like I did), work expectations, or basic societal messaging. Most of us have been fed this lie.

When we are driven by societal expectations, we have to build better boundaries to protect our personal needs.

Release Perfectionism by Owning Your Worth

Perfectionism is always driven by the belief that we aren’t good enough unless we are showing up in a certain way, doing enough, or being enough.

The problem isn’t actually the perfectionism. That’s just the way it’s manifesting in your reality. The true problem is a lack of self worth.

If you don’t believe you are worthy, deep down to your core, then you’ll always be working your ass off to prove that you’re deserving of whatever it is you want in life.

There are some powerful steps to feeling more worth, which I dive into a bit deeper in this post.

Steps to feeling more self worth:

  • Self Forgiveness – Accept your humanness and forgive your past.
  • Rewrite the Story – Notice when you feel unworthy and change the dialogue.
  • Accept compliments – Learn how to just say “thank you.”
  • Practice Daily – Set reminders to check in and use self worth language.

Learning how to feel worthy is not something that changes overnight, but is a daily practice. The first step is to truly acknowledge everything I said in the video, that worthiness is NOT something that is earned, but it is your right.

Release Perfectionism by Building Confidence

Self Worth and Confidence go hand-in-hand and they’re the the building blocks to release the grip of perfectionism in your life. If you’re struggling to rewrite your false beliefs around perfectionism, try strengthening your confidence instead.

Here are some free resources for building your confidence:

If you’re ready to dive deeper into releasing your perfectionism and building true confidence, grab your spot in my Confidence and Perfectionism Toolkit to get all my tools, including yoga, breath work, and meditations. You can get 10% off your purchase by using the coupon code HUMAN.

Let’s start a conversation. Drop into the comments and share what steps you’re excited to take in order to release your perfectionism.

I’m here with you, overcoming my perfectionism each day. One step at a time.

You got this!