Is perfectionism your friend or foe?

By Tunteeya Yamaoka

Recently I conducted a Facebook Live Seminar with a group called “Empowering Women in Property”. These women identified with being perfectionists and over-achievers, which helped them to accomplish results. However in getting caught up in thoughts about having to achieve impeccable outcomes, they found it difficult to engage in the present moment. Having a perfectionist inner critic, constantly judging their own and others behavior was exhausting.

Most high performing individuals would argue that the reason why they can perform at such a great standard is because they are perfectionists. However, sometimes perfectionism can be draining as nothing ever seems to be good enough. Is there a way to let perfectionism be our friend without letting it control us?

When we can learn to observe when perfectionism is present and notice when it is taking us away from what’s important to us, we are immediately gaining some separation from our thoughts, allowing us to make more choices about how we are going to let perfectionism influence our behavior.

Learning to notice and become mindful of our thoughts allows us to create some flexibility with perfectionism. We can let perfectionism support us when we want to gain results, but we can also let it go when we need to connect with what is important to us, such as our loved ones, our hobbies and our health.

Just like there are times when perfectionism can be our ally when we need to perform, there are times when it can take us away from our values. It is important to bring awareness to our thoughts and notice whether perfectionism is supporting the life we truly want to live, whether it is fulfilling our hearts greatest desires.

If perfectionism is not adding quality to your life, we can learn to change our relationship with it by accepting it as our “personal assistant”. Notice when that personal assistant is being extremely hard on you, notice your reaction to it, is it helpful or unhelpful to struggle with it?

You can simply thank your personal assistant for supporting you, because it wants to help you. It may continue to criticize you throughout the day, but you have a choice to get caught up and argue with it (you know it always wins), or simply acknowledge it and let it be.

For help with taming your perfectionistic inner critic and instead accepting it as your “personal assistant” to be thanked and listened to, or politely ignored, get in contact with me by calling Brisbane ACT Centre or email tunteeya@brisbaneactcentre.com.au

Tunteeya Yamaoka

Reference: ACT Made Simple: Dr Russ Harris

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