“Instead of resisting any emotion, the best way to dispel it is to enter it fully, embrace it and see through your resistance.” – Deepak Chopra
Do you find yourself running into the future filled with worry?
Are you the perfectionist who likes to control every detail?
If you answered YES, this session of Unstoppable Mindset is for you.
As a leader or entrepreneur, one of the fundamental skills required is a willingness to be vulnerable and an ability to live with the tension that comes with navigating uncertainty.
This week, we explore perfectionism and the need to control feelings of shame, blame, worry, and guilt. You don’t want to miss this conversation!
The Trap Of Perfection
Perfectionism is seen as a positive trait that increases our chances of success, but it can lead to self-defeating thoughts or behaviors that make it difficult to achieve goals. Although perfectionism starts as a way for us to feel in control of our circumstances, it has the opposite effect as it sets unrealistic and unachievable expectations. Perfectionism is hidden fear, inflexible rules, and unreasonable standards. Brené Brown says, “Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best. Perfection is not about healthy achievement and growth.” She describes perfectionism as a self-destructive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of blame, judgement, and shame.
Perfectionism is a downward spiral because when we fail, we invariably experience shame, judgement and blame due to our believed imperfection. And so begins the vicious cycle, as we become even more determined to look and do everything just right. The reality is the unrealistic expectation that accompanies perfectionism sets us up to experience fear and anxiety: It’s my fault. I’m feeling this way because I’m not good enough.
Most perfectionists believe that they’re valuable only because of what they achieve or what they do for other people. Thanks to society, we’ve been taught to prove our worth through our achievements. Many of us look at how much we accomplish and base our self-worth on what others say or how well we think we did.
The pandemic and the current political climate have altered what was once predictable and “normal.” The truth is life is always uncertain, yet the perfectionist will do almost anything to avoid uncertainty. They will tolerate a known negative situation over a possibly good outcome to maintain control of their environment. However, once they embrace change as a constant part of life, it is much easier to give up control. Charles Darwin says; “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
Why is it that some people can quickly embrace change while others will do everything in their power to resist it? It is a matter of perception. The truth is each event that happens to you can move you forward or backward. Your mindset and the way you choose to view a situation determine your experience. If you decide to view every situation as an opportunity to learn and grow, the vulnerability that accompanies change and uncertainty becomes manageable and serves a purpose.
We often think of vulnerability in terms of our interactions with other people. However, vulnerability is essential for interacting with ourselves when managing change. According to vulnerability researcher Brené Brown, “shame needs three things to grow exponentially in our lives: silence, secrecy, and judgment.” When we avoid vulnerability, we keep our negative emotions to ourselves. This avoidance amplifies our feelings and prevents us from processing them. If, on the other hand, we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, we can work through our uncomfortable emotions and develop coping strategies to overcome them. Being self-aware helps you identify and manage your feelings and better cope with change.
To live an unstoppable life, you must take consistent action despite fears and doubts. Join the Mindset Mastery Mastermind to connect with other leaders committed to mastering their emotions in the face of uncertainty and change.