Taking off the Mask of Perfectionism

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One thing that always amazes me as a coach is how similar my clients are to former versions of myself. How the things they struggle with are oftentimes things I’ve overcome, given up, or been able to bless and release.

Sometimes, however, my clients become my teachers and bring to our call something that I’m currently challenged by or perhaps working on with my own coach.

When the same topic surfaces with multiple clients in a week, it’s hard not to take it as a sign. The most recent case involves dealing with my perfectionist tendencies.

One of the fascinating aspects of being an entrepreneur in the personal development arena is that I operate with a unique skill set around my work—I get curious about the ways of being and doing that I’m bringing to my business (literally, how I’m showing up for myself, my partner, my clients and my loved ones). I have the ability and responsibility not only to be managing my business but also to be looking at how I’m showing up in relationship to it.

Being in the transformation business, I’m always looking at championing my clients in how they’re showing up in their lives, but I’m also doing that on my side of the court as well.

I’m sure you can imagine that there is a lot more to take stock of when your business starts to grow exponentially…

And the truth of the matter is that my business has skyrocketed recently. My coaching practice is almost full, and I love the clients I work with and the amazing things they’re creating in their lives. At the same time, I’ve been saying yes to multiple new business opportunities.

In addition to that, my partner and I have been planning more and more adventures and travel together.

I have never been happier and felt more fulfilled and challenged all at once.

Have you ever noticed that, oftentimes, when you take on a huge new challenge at work or commit to a new relationship, your old ways of being and doing life start to creep up?

It’s like controlling for different variables in a petri dish to see what you’ve actually transformed versus what is still an old habit or disempowering way of being…

In my petri dish, for example, time is a variable that has changed recently and become less abundant…

…and consequently, it has become profusely clear the default way of being that I bring to relationship.

So last week, when the proverbial sh** hit the fan, rather than choosing to be intimate and share with my partner my fears of being able to fulfill all of my commitments, and rather than requesting additional support from my powerhouse business manager, I did my “thing” of grinding on through, alone and isolated.

All the while, my way of being allowed me to be in disconnect and to have that experience of being unavailable for support(ing) others “because I'm getting sh** done.” It’s a feeling that I like most when it's over, that addictive shot of feeling accomplished and good enough.

My partner calls me out on it. He tries to support me in ways he can and knows how (like feeding me amazing meals), but justifiably so, he feels hurt and disconnected.

Is this sounding familiar yet? Is this something you do in relationships? Have you ever considered why you do it?

The truth is that it terrifies me to ask for support, to imply that I'm not perfect and can't handle all my sh** on my own: What?!! Who would love someone like THAT?! That's what my shadow self likes to say, at least…

Fear of needing to look and come off a certain way in order to be loved is what keeps me from being authentic and real.

I'm not committed to my martyrdom of bearing the weight of my world on my back alone.

And I’d invite you not to be committed to it either:

Our perfectionism keeps us separate and alone.

It keeps our default need to prove our lovability and worth intact vs embracing who we are and having that be enough.

Our perfectionism has us avoid intimacy at all costs.

It also keeps in place the societal expectation that we need to look and show up a certain way in order to be beautiful or successful.

The truth of the matter is:

Through embracing your humanity and imperfections, you begin to accept yourself for who you truly are and appreciate yourself and others more.

Through releasing the need to get things perfect, you release yourself from the never-ending stronghold of needing to get things right or to be right in order to measure up and be worthy.

By choosing intimacy and honesty, you will begin to attract and create relationships that are authentic and deeper.

Life will become more joy-full as a result of embracing yourself and creating a deeper level of love and connectedness with yourself and others.

I invite you to take off the mask of perfectionism this week so that you can start truly embracing and connecting with who you really are and begin to find your own joy within.

Catherine A. Wood is the Founder and Head Coach of Unbounded Potential, a personal coaching firm dedicated to helping high performance individuals who are committed to making a big impact in the world. She helps them fall in love with themselves first so they can take bolder actions, push past their fears, and get bigger results in the direction of their dreams. A visionary, entrepreneur and world traveler, clients have referred to her as a guardian angel for their dreams. You can learn more about Catherine and what she offers by visiting her Online, on Instagram, on Facebook, or by signing up for her newsletter and grabbing her Unbounded Potential manifesto.