Welcome to come home to peace with Diane Passey, the show where we talk about how to become more emotionally intelligent and as a result increase our emotional resilience. Diane will be your guide as you work towards your goal to help your children and teens become healthy adults. Parenting is one of the hardest jobs we'll ever have. And one in which you get no formal training. Our young innocent children become adolescents who face challenges over which we have no control. We can't say them from fear, disappointment, anxiety and pain that life hands us, but we can equip them with the tools, skills and knowledge to enable them to get through it. Join us to hear insights, strategies, and relevant tips to help you come home to peace. Welcome to come home to peace, the podcast where I guide you along the path to create more peace in yourself and in your home. Starting from the inside out. Perfectionism is what we're going to talk about today. How many of you guys are perfectionists? I'm my guess is if I saw all of raised hands in a room of people. Well, more than half of the people that I talk to that I asked that question to consider themselves perfectionists. And I used to be a perfectionist, I am now a recovering perfectionist. It's something that I did for so long that I still find myself striving for perfectionism sometimes, and I have to talk myself down, because I found that it was a root of a whole bunch of mental problems for me. About 15 years ago, when I started my own mental work and my own mental health work with a therapist and with a coach, it happened to come out that after working for a few months, I realized that the root of my issues, and all of these struggles, and all of this emotional pain was perfectionism. And I have to tell you, that was not a happy discovery for me. Because that was something that I held proud, like, I was proud that I was a perfectionist. I loved knowing that if someone asked me to do something, I was gonna not only just do it, but I was gonna overdo it, I was going to give 110% In any anything I did, I was going to show up and show up in the most perfect form that I could show up. And that made me feel good in a way but at the same time, it was destroying my mental health because perfectionism is a lie. And we can't show up perfect. And there's no way that all of this time I was spending to try and be perfect for other people. There's just no way that I was perfect for other people. So it was like I was failing and creating shame for myself. And it wasn't good. If we think that perfectionism was a problem for us as parents as we'd been growing up, it is 1000 1000 times worse for our youth, our teenagers and our young adults, social media has created this perfectionism need, and with power and influence and, and being surrounded by Photoshop, and filters, and all of the things that social media brings with it has kind of developed in a lot of our teenagers and youth, this mindset that if they're not perfect, then they're not good enough. Like we didn't have to navigate social media. You know, we didn't have to worry about what all 450 of our friends or 800 followers, were going to think of our outfit, or what we were doing that weekend, or how many parties we got invited to like that it just wasn't out there. And so I, you know, I want you to think about what that is like for our youth. And so if I were to give any of you parents advice, especially, even if you think you're a little bit of a perfectionist, do the work.
Fine, find a coach to work with, go to a counselor, read the self help books, but do what you have to do. And you can join my recovering perfectionist clubs. If you if you want, I don't really have one. But you're welcome to come and join. And we can find a way to buoy each other up and to destroy some of these beliefs that we have that we have to be perfect because our teens do not need that pressure from our from their parents and in their homes. They need a place where they can be authentic and be themselves. That's the reason that this is so important for me to talk about. So as we talk about this, let's unpack perfectionism a little bit. Okay, so perfectionism is the belief that
Everything must be perfect all of the time. Now Brene Brown and her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, which is a fantastic book, it really was the beginning of my ability to finally change my mindset was reading that book, I read it while I was getting coaching and I was like, Oh my gosh, I have to do this, like I can understand now. It just helped turn on that light switch for me. So let me read to you how she defines perfectionism. In in this book, quote, perfectionism is a self destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought. If I look perfect, live perfectly and do everything perfectly. I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment and blame. Perfectionism is self destructive, simply because there is no such thing as perfect. Perfection is an unattainable goal. Additionally, perfectionism is more about perception, we want to be perceived as perfect. Again, this is unattainable. There is no way to control perception. Regardless of how much time and energy we spend trying, perfectionism is addictive, because when we invariably do experience shame, judgment and blame, we often believe is because we weren't perfect enough. So rather than questioning the faulty logic of perfectionism, we become even more entrenched in our quest to live look and do everything just right. And she finishes off with this feeling shamed, judged and blamed. And the fear of these feelings are realities of the human experience. Perfectionism actually increases the odds that will experience these painful emotions and often leads to self blame. It's my fault. I'm feeling this way, because I'm not good enough. And quote, who isn't that good. Like, reading that I was like, wow, it just was one of those moments that it just hit me. Now Brene Brown likes to describe perfectionism as holding up a big 20 ton shield. I also use that analogy. And I also like to use the analogy of it being a really big huge ruler, like this ruler is your width, and you know, three or four feet taller than you. And we're using that ruler, we're carrying it around, because we got to use that ruler to measure ourselves against other people. My coach had said, Okay, Diana, want you to go find this ruler, go get a big board from Home Depot, and you have to carry it around with you everywhere. And I was like, you know, thought she was joking, and kind of laughed about and she's like, No, I'm serious. I'm serious. If you're going to keep measuring yourself, against other people, then you have to carry around the ruler that you're measuring yourself with. I was like, Well, I don't want to carry around the ruler, she's like, You got to if you're gonna put down the ruler, then you've got to stop comparing yourself. She's like, that's, that's the deal. Now, if you think of this big, heavy shield, here's how the perfectionism shield works. We have to have this shield really big and really thick, because we have to be able to hide behind it. We can't let anybody see who we really are. And our vulnerabilities, and our shame and our imperfections like we, if anybody saw who we really were, it would be like, it would destroy us. So it'd be so embarrassing. So we can't let anyone see that. So we, we hold up the shield, especially in places where it really matters to us. So we like to hold the shield up. If we're at school, we hold the shield up before it church, if we're at social events, if we're hanging out with our friends, for a family reunion, we're coming, dragging this 20 ton shield, hiding behind it, making sure that it's facing the most the most important people all the time, and making sure that they can't see us. So that again is exhausting. Perfectionism is exhausting and you're going to get burned out emotionally, physically, spiritually, it just is going to wreak havoc on your life, trying to hold it that shield, and it's just a pain to hold up a big, big ruler board and take that around with you everywhere. Like both of those adjust doesn't work. Now, with my label of a recovering perfectionist, I now have this mantra. I strive to be authentic, vulnerable, mindful, resilient, and show courage and self compassion. I practice authentic spiritual connection with my father in heaven, and that practicing spirits
connection with your Father in heaven is a podcast episode for a different day. But I'll tell you, when you let down your front, when you pray, and when you speak to God, and you let down that front of what you think he wants you to be. And you just show up as you are. It's incredibly powerful. And you can feel God's love for you. As you are in your totally messy life. And all of the imperfections you will be able to feel God's love for you. It's it's just, it's just an amazing experience. If you think you might be a perfectionist, that you're not sure or, you know, you know, you're a perfectionist, I want you to listen to some of the signs that I'm going to read you here about what, like signs that you're a perfectionist. And also kind of watch, you know, are your kids perfectionist and you know, other people? I mean, of course, you can't do anything about them, they get to control what they're going to do. But I want you to kind of look and see where you see this in yourself and where you see it and your loved ones and those around you. So here are the symptoms of perfectionism. Do you feel like a failure? Do you avoid doing things you might fail at? Do you avoid making mistakes? Do you anger easily? Do you have high expectations of your spouse or kids? Are you a procrastinator? I bet a lot of you didn't realize that being a procrastinator is a sign of perfectionism. Are you frustrated or let down easily by your spouse, kids, friends, family members or or co workers? Do you micromanage? Is it hard for you to open up and share your thoughts or feelings? are you controlling? Do you like things to be done your way? Did you grow up in a home with a parent who was a perfectionist? Are you an all or nothing type person is your self value based on your achievements, looks, possessions and awards. If you can say yes to a few of those things, and you're absolutely perfectionism is showing up in your life somewhere.
Now, when you expect perfectionism from yourself, your subconscious brain is going to inadvertently expect perfection from those around you. So this is the reason that you can never love anyone more than you love yourself. And when I say that, that's probably going to feel like it just like your brains gonna be like, Oh, not true, not true. She's full of it. But it is absolutely true. Because I can tell you working with people for so long, and all, you know, the hundreds and hundreds of people that I've worked with, that the things that you judge yourself harshly with your subconscious also judges other people with, by not loving your body, your personality, your talents, your skills, you are judging yourself against a ruler that doesn't exist. So when you have that judgment, that you're judging yourself with, I mean, it's just amazing. So here's how I will see it. In myself. When I go to, let's say Walmart, I will oftentimes notice and sometimes I have to, like, you know, notice intentionally, if I am walking around and looking at people's bodies, and what size bodies that they have, and what their clothes look like and how they fit and how, you know, so many people's bodies look more normal than I feel like my body might look or, you know, when I making those judgments, that means that I'm trying to hold up perfectionism for me, and that I don't love myself, and I'm not loving my body's my, my body when I am in a good frame of mind. And I can love my physical self. And I can, I can look at all of the beautiful and amazing things about my body. And I can appreciate the miracle that my body is, I don't notice anything about anybody. I just go in and out of Walmart. And I'm looking at the Oreos and the baby clothes and, you know, whatever it is, it's distracting me at the moment. I'm not looking at people at maybe their faces or their hair or something or their eyes, but I'm not. I'm not judging the way anybody's body looks. It's only when I'm being critical about myself. And I'm not loving myself so much that I noticed that's where my brain goes. And it's holding up my ruler against other people. And it's showing me that these other people are much higher on my ruler than I am. And that's not very fair to do to me and it's not very fair to do to them either. Now when you think back to your childhood or you think back to now
Growing up, who said, Who told you that you should, or could be better than you are right now. Because I can promise you that God has not ever told you that God doesn't tell you, you should or could do anything. He tells you, I know you can do this. I, I trust you, and I love you. And I love you who you are right now. And I have total faith in you that you're going to be able to be better. And I'm going to be right behind you and support you. But couldn't shirts do not come from our heavenly father couldn't should come from the adversary, who wants to put you in a spin in your mind of shame and judgment and disgust and helplessness and overwhelm. Like, if the adversary can get you stuck in one of those spins, then he gets to destroy your outlook, he gets to make it so you're prickly to other people, he breaks down your mental health, like he has a lot of benefits he can do from that. And he does it a lot. That's his lie that he tells to a lot of people he's not, he's not creative. He is very good. And he's very persistent. But he's not creative. So he tells a lot of people they could or should. And when you hear those words, or you say those words, or you think those words, that is the adversary that is not a loving God, who loves you right now for who you are, he just doesn't expect any more than you are you can't do anything to devalue yourself as a human being you were born with 100% Worth, you're going to die with 100% worth. And there's nothing you can do to change that. Now our worthiness may change and our worthiness may go up and down. But our worth does not change, our worth is going to be the same. Because that's what we get for being human. That's the gift that we get. So don't let yourself think that God expects you to be something that you're not he doesn't he loves you for who you are right now, show up as you are put down that 20 ton heavy shield, let yourself be seen as perfectly imperfect, let yourself be authentic, let yourself be vulnerable. And it's going to take courage. And it's going to take effort. But let let down that shield of this is what other people expect. No, they don't, they don't expect it. They love you for who you are put down the shield. Now one of the things I do to kind of make sure that my mindset is in the right place, as I tell myself that my standard of work is going to be a b b minus work. And I'll, I'll give you a great example of how this shows up. For me. My b minus work is good enough. I mean, it really is. And if I allow my brain to slip back into perfectionism, or my brain slips back, and I don't catch it, then this, this is what it will look like, I can spend three hours working on the title of a podcast or the title of an email, or the title of a blog post. Like, I know, some of you guys are like three hours like are you serious, but I can keep moving words around. I can keep substituting words I've got a thesaurus open I've got four lists of power words, I'm like, going through and evaluating and counting how many digits and and thinking it through and like feeling it and does it feel right? And, and my perfectionism is saying, Diane, no, it's not good enough. It's got to be better. It's got to be better. And when I catch myself doing that, I say, Whoa, Diane, B minus work. B minus work is good enough that people who are reading what you're putting out there, it's a title. It's a blog post. It's a podcast episode. It's okay for it to be B minus work, be authentic show up as yourself. And that's good enough. So I have to talk myself back down and say, hey, look, I am striving for B minus work. And that's okay, that's good enough, is good enough for all of the people I show up for, because it's not going to serve you guys. Well, if I'm showing up as perfect all the time, like, and I'm telling you to be imperfect, like that just doesn't work. Right? That just that wouldn't make any sense. Okay, so but there is a difference between perfectionism and striving for excellence. And we're going to kind of let me review that with you because it's okay to strive for excellence.
But we don't want perfection. So here's, here's how this breaks down. Perfectionism is okay, and I'm going to read some of the definitions here. So perfectionism believes that everything must be perfect all the time, spends excess time on trivial problems. For example, that
title of a blog post or a podcast episode. Like, that's excess time, right? You would, I think we all probably agree with that sets impossible standards for success and then feels upset when they're not meant motivated by the fear of failure, criticism or rejection sees itself only in extremes either you're perfect or you're a failure, but there's not any of that other space in between. Now, if you're striving for excellence, you understand that some situations call for perfection, perfection such as like surgery, surgery is definitely an area where, you know, you hope that there's some perfection in them in there that your surgeon does a good job, but other situations do not. For example, choosing an outfit what my hair looks like, if my makeup looks good today.
When we strive for excellence, we focus our time on the most important problems. And we like little trivial ones that don't really matter slide by, we set standards that are challenging, but they are achievable. And then when we reach them, we feel good and content. And we celebrate and we allow ourselves to sit and that piece of like, wow, you know what, I did a good job. Yeah, I'm gonna pat myself on the back for a minute. When we strive for excellence, we are motivated by the potential for success and happiness. And we see ourselves from a balanced perspective with both our strengths and our weaknesses. Okay, can you kind of see the difference of how that is like the difference in how we view ourselves and what our goals are, and how it feels so much more relaxed, to strive for excellence. Instead, it just feels like it's just the better way to live. Now challenges a perfectionism that we come across is that you'll have a difficulty you have a difficult time making decisions. And you'll second guess your decisions and you'll regret your decisions. Don't matter what decision you choose, you'll always second guess it. And you'll always regret it. So people who have a hard time with decision making absolutely perfectionist, you will avoid risks and new experiences out of fear of failure, you're not going to try something new. Because unless you can try something new and be guaranteed that you're gonna rock at it. You don't want to do it. You can't allow yourself to fail because people will see who you really are. So you have to just stick with what you know, and just do that.
You'll have difficulty with commitment, such as in relationships, or choosing a career because that goes back to the decision making, and your self esteem will be dependent on meeting impossible standards. So just a few other little tidbits about perfectionism, it can contribute to problems such as procrastination, stress, anxiety, and depression. It is possible to be perfectionistic in one area of life, but not in others. Perfectionism is a personality trait caused by both environmental and biological factors. For example, your upbringing and your genetics, some people are born as high achievers. And that's just, that's just who they are. They're super motivated, you know, they want to do the big things. So they will have a tendency more to be perfectionists. Despite being a personality trait, though, perfectionism can be changed, whether you're born with it, or whether you saw it in your upbringing. It can always be changed. Therapy, coaching, working with through that mindset, kind of issues are going to be effective at reducing perfectionism. You're going to be able to explore your strengths, develop more balanced thinking and improve your self esteem. Like doesn't that feel great? My friends, please learn how to love yourself authentically. And then model that behavior for your kids. Ask God to help you be okay with your beautiful imperfections. You weren't enough. Your kids don't need to feel any additional pressure to be perfect than they already have. And they already feel love them right now in their imperfect mess. Love yourself in your imperfect mess. God can perfectly love us even though we are imperfect. So he can help you love yourself. Even though you're imperfect, and love your kids, even though they're imperfect and loved your spouse, even though he's imperfect or she's imperfect, he can do it. And he absolutely will assist you and being able to do that as well. Becoming imperfect is going to help create inner peace and more peace in your home so that you can truly feel like you can come home to a messy
imperfectly beautiful, peaceful home. We'll see you next time.
Thank you for joining us on this episode of come home to peace. If you haven't done so already, subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast platform. Leave us a five star rating and share with friends family and anyone else who is searching for more peace from the inside out. Thank you
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