When perfectionism is driving us, shame is riding shotgun – Brene Brown
Striving for excellence is a great motivator; but what happens when perfectionism takes over? I’m really struggling with this as my working and family-life landscape has changed overnight. Sure, it was challenging before COVID-19 trying to cram a full-time job of running our pilates and yoga studio into school hours, and then do the running around to extra-curricular activities nearly every afternoon.
But now, running Inna Essence is sandwiched between schooling from home, diffusing sibling bickering, trying to remember how to do fractions, learning how to teach virtual classes and support members in a totally unfamiliar world of self-isolation.
I’ve been consumed with feelings of shame and guilt; knowing I’m falling way short in comparison to my daughter’s teachers, and exhausted trying to change a business from face to face, to completely online.
Even now as an adult, I’m still stuck in the cycle of perfectionism to try and avoid the feeling of shame if I stuff up; forget something, not complete a task on time, let down my husband or annoy my kids. If I make sure everything looks perfect on the outside, if I can keep it together, no one will be able to see that I’m struggling.
SHAME – the intensely painful feeling or belief that somehow we are flawed, and that imperfection in us makes us unworthy of love, belonging and connection.
How many of you reading this are seeing some similarities? This is a healing journey of a lifetime, and despite trying my hardest, perfectionism rears it’s ugly head, at some point, every day. But now I see it for what it is; a false belief to avoid judgment, blame and criticism.
I try and remind myself that no matter what, I am worthy of all the good things life has to offer, because I’m here, and alive, and exactly who I am – imperfections and all.
Instead of shaming myself endlessly with all the things I didn’t achieve, I try and internally motivate myself with goals that are aligned with my personal values. What’s important to ME, what do I want to do?
Feeling fit and strong, moving intelligently with Pilates, resting and restoring through Yoga, that has helped me beyond measure. When I focus on my breath, picture my muscles contracting and elongating, I regain control of my being, and recover the knowledge that I can help heal my heart from the pressures and hurts I thrust on myself every day.
Today, and everyday, honour yourself. Show your being a little more respect, so that you can ensure the longevity of your present life.
Be gentle, and know that this season will pass.
Written by Andrea Creighton, co-owner of Inna Essence