Do you often feel inadequate, not up to the job? That’ll be your perfectionist streak, and it’s sabotaging your chances of success. Here’s how to silence that inner critic.
When it comes to getting what we really want out of life, having high standards can be a good thing. It keeps us focused on our goals, it can make us stand out from the crowd, and with the right amount of effort, it can lead to some big rewards. But what happens when the scale tips too far, that high-achieving mindset becomes a burden, and that harsh inner critic starts to rear its ugly head all too often?
It may be that you’re a perfectionist. And while it sounds positive on the surface, this modern-day affiliation can do more harm than good. Whether it’s agonising for a week over a simple task at work, or not being able to rest before you’ve cleaned the house from top to bottom, perfectionism can hold us back, makes us sick, and ironically, it may make us fail.
Former perfectionist Eloise King says it’s a mindset that can turn you into your own worst enemy. “You’re awash with stress all the time as you’re either beating yourself up for something you haven’t done perfectly, or you’re wishing for something in the future where life was more perfect,” she explains. “This self-flagellation takes place whenever anything is perceived to have gone wrong. You do anything in your power not to make a mistake, but when you do make a mistake, you’re so flooded with negativity that you can’t ever learn from it or see it as the lesson that it is.”
For Eloise, it was suffering a burnout that made her realise things needed to change. “It felt like everything in my life had been programmed from a place of stress and fear,” she says. “I needed my decisions and actions to come from somewhere that was more loving and more creative.”
Next page: When Perfect Becomes Tiring