As a year comes to an end, you reflect upon the changes that year has brought about. You see the changes, the way your kids are just a bit taller, the way you feel just a little older and yet so much seems to have stayed the same. A year goes by in a blink of an eye. It’s gone and that’s that.
You are confident, professional, and successful, Yes? You often are financially well off, with a good job or business of your own, a home, and family. You are driven, always working for more. However, you look at the year somewhat differently than others. They see what they have accomplished, but even more, they see what else they could have achieved. You can sum up the pages of all the things that you didn’t do, that you wanted to change, or that you thought you were changing. But when you look back on those things: the things you thought were changing, you find that life isn’t that different after all. When you stop to think, your mind can see all the negative; the sides of things you didn’t accomplish. .
I hate to tell you, you’re not alone. I did over 180 breakthrough calls. Almost every one of those calls began positively, only to reveal to me that the people I was speaking with struggle with perfectionism. Perfectionism allows no end. Nothing is ever perfect: and therefore, nothing is ever good enough. When there is never anything that’s good enough, a pattern of negative thinking begins. What’s worse is that according to Science Daily, these thoughts can lead to significant health and emotional concerns. I know this to be the truth because I was there. At 35, having a heart catheterization was not good. But I am grateful. Fifteen years after being hospitalized, I am well-off and in good health.
What’s wrong with striving for perfection?
When a person strives to be perfect, they often perform well at first. This is a strength. The issue arises when the high-achiever forgets that perfection is an impossible goal. Once this occurs, problems begin to surface that your unaware of. Others see it, yet you deny all.
The more a person reaches for that impossible perfect place, the more they suffer, both physically and emotionally.
Perfectionism becomes a problem for the high achiever when:
- They obsess over small mistakes,
- They will avoid any activity that they cannot be in charge of
- They will not ask for help, due to possibly being perceived as weakness.
- They are never satisfied and have trained their eyes to see limitations only.
These are just a few of the complications, but once these habits start to manifest, the person is at a high risk of internal suffering, stress, depression, anxiety, and even physical illness. Your mind makes you sick! Your relationships will suffer, and according to Forbes Magazine, you might even come to loathe yourself.
The high-achieving perfectionist.
I’d like to share a story about Sierra who was a high achiever since she was a child. In school, she had a 4.0 GPA, and college was no different. Upon graduating from university, Sierra began working on creating her own business. For the first several years, things went along well. She made a living writing outstanding speeches for other people. They had to be just perfect. She helped other people to shine.
After about five years, Sierra was drained of helping others shine. She herself was not shining. Her fiancé had broken off their engagement. Money was coming in slowly, and before long, Sierra found herself putting off writing. She didn’t feel appreciated. She was working so hard for others but wasn’t doing anything for herself. There was always an excuse, she was too tired, had a headache, or was too busy to make the speech as perfect as it should have been. Her standard of writing was never good enough anymore. Her business was failing. But worst of all, her personal life was failing, too.
In an attempt to fix her life, Sierra landed on a book. At first, she refused to read it, believing that a simple book couldn’t help her. Besides, was there anything really wrong with her? But as debts began to pile up, so did her stress. Eventually, she had nothing left. Life’s pressure was so high, she felt as though she were being pushed against a wall. What else could she do? “So fine,” she conceited: she read the book.
Sierra was fascinated by the simple terminology, and easy steps. She was now reading with enthusiasm and journaling. The first thing she learned was to focus forward, and to think from the outcome she wanted. This was a huge wake up call for her. As a perfectionist she always focused on bettering things. So, when she journaled about outcomes she wanted, she gave herself an ultimate vision of her goals. She wasn’t comparing anymore, instead, she was simply knowing where she was going. Without even realizing it, she had let go of perfectionism and found herself succeeding more than she ever had before.
Today, Sierra is married, and is expecting a baby boy. Her business is right where she wants it to be, and she’s making progress toward her next goal. Some days, she still feels like she must do everything exactly right, but she knows to immediately get rid of those thoughts and focus on the outcomes. It’s so much easier!
Perfectionism and you.
If you’re a high achiever experiencing patterns like Sierra did, you are probably highly stressed. There is a way to change your habits though, so that you can obtain your desires and accomplish your goals.
First, I would suggest you refocus your thoughts on outcomes you’d like to have. Some call them goals, but author Gina Yarrish and her book Harness Your Purpose, Power and Peace, they are outcomes. Start with reflecting. What areas of your life would you like to be different? What would be your ultimate outcome? This is big! Remember that it takes just as much energy to think small. Gina will often say, “You know you’re not thinking big enough if your outcome doesn’t make butterflies in your stomach fly. “The next step is simple. Write down potential steps (whether you agree with them or not) that you could take. BEWARE, you don’t need to know all the steps and how to get there. The universe will work with you, you just have to take the first step. The next will show up. I promise! Try it, it will feel a little like a taste of candy and you’ll be hungry for more. ☺
What were the steps?
- Think of outcomes you want in any given situation or scenario
- Write down possible steps to take to get there. Be sure you have more than 3.
You see, in the first three, you’ll write what you know, what you’ve done. You know what you want. The next steps will be what you haven’t done. These will change the direction of your path.
Still need help.
If you haven’t heard of Yarcort, you’re missing out on an amazing community of people who carry this magical, uplifting, and inspiring energy. Their work is surely innovative. You see, Yarcort has a mission to improve the quality of life by helping people to achieve their highest potential. Along the way, folks like you and me get stuck. We begin to suffer internally and we’re ashamed, or embarrassed to ask for help or let people see who we really are. Yarcort hears stories like these every day, you are definitely not alone. What’s really cool though, is the team has this way of not making you feel wrong about anything. In fact, after speaking with them, you feel differently. Even your thinking begins to change.
Stress is a disease that is killing many people. Yarcort has online courses for professionals, retreats, and workshops. Gina also is traveling the world teaching workshops. Earlier, I said that her way is innovative. That is true, and her methodology comes in a 1200 lb. package. It is her secret recipe. But hey, I don’t want to give away the secret, you can simply learn more and get a complimentary chapter of her book
If you need a breakthrough, Gina does offer complimentary 1:1 calls. You can book one here. Contact us if you’d like to have her speak at your event or come to one of our workshops. Find out more on the web, on Facebook, or give us a call. Gina’s wish for you is that you’re a better person tomorrow than you are today. ☺