Our personality is made up of a group of sub-personalities, which we develop as we grow up to better fit into our environment. These sub-personalities are also called “primary selves” because they determine how we appear to ourselves and others, as well as how we act based on the belief systems that we have learned. Some common selves are the Pleaser, the Rule Maker, the Pusher and the Perfectionist.
All selves fall somewhere on the spectrum between primary (we identify with them) or disowned. If an energy is a primary self for us, it is familiar to us and a driving force in our life. Other people might even describe us as that self, for example they might say, “You are such a perfectionist”.
A self can also be disowned. That means it is less accessible to us or even completely hidden or suppressed. What we have disowned, we tend to judge in others. In the case of a disowned perfectionist, we might be somebody who is unprecise and careless when doing a task and judges others as nit picky or too meticulous.
On the other hand, when we over-identify with the perfectionist, we often end up with unrealistic standards that hold us back from completing a task, or we get preoccupied with details. We also judge others as careless, sloppy or negligent. When we see others doing what we would never allow ourselves to do – to be comfortable with imperfections – we might feel angry, resentful and judgmental towards them. When we are either over-identified with or have disowned our perfectionist sub-personality, we have no free choice whether we want to be perfect in a given situation, or whether we can allow for imperfection in a particular situation. We feel we have to achieve perfectionism in all that we do.
The Perfectionist “wants us to look perfect, act perfect, and be perfect in all that we do. It will not tolerate a shoddy job and will drive us to distraction, redoing and redoing everything until it is just right. Nothing is less important than anything else” (Hal & Sidra Stone, Embracing Your Inner Critic, 17).
Our Inner Critic, another sub-personality, finds the imperfections and criticizes us harshly for failing no matter how unrealistic or inappropriate perfection might be in a given situation. The Perfectionist sets such high standards that everything must be perfect, there are no priorities.
There is nothing wrong with having standards, wanting to produce a certain quality of work for example. We all choose to do some things perfectly. However, we should have a choice in every given moment whether we want to strive for something close to perfection, or not. If the Inner Critic beats us up on a regular basis because we are not always perfect, and nothing is ever good enough, the Perfectionist part has become a problem.
It is easy to see how the Perfectionist in us can really make us suffer. We become workaholics, give ourselves ulcers, and are not able to enjoy anything that shows up in our life. We block our creative flow, worrying about our music, writing, acting, painting, etc having to be perfect. Or worst of all, we do not even attempt to follow our dreams and desires because we are afraid that we cannot be perfect, or that a situation is not perfect enough to get into.
In order to step out of our comfort zone and to dare doing something different, all we need to do is change our thinking and our subconscious beliefs those thoughts are based on.
Some common beliefs I help people balance to step out of the perception of being judged by others and to realize that they are perfect already are the following:
- It’s okay for me to make mistakes.
- I do my best and my best is always good enough.
- I care less and less every day what other people think of me.
- I allow my accomplishments to be imperfect at times.
- I am satisfied with imperfections in my relationships.
When we really embrace that what we are as human beings is perfectly imperfect, we open our life up to new possibilities. We can allow ourselves to go with the flow, be creative without fear, and reach for the stars, as we are perfect enough to experience a perfectly divine life. From that perception, everything you experience is perfect; everything that shows up in your life is perfect for you.
Do you suffer from perfectionism? Do you have dreams you are sitting on because you are afraid they won’t be perfectly expressed? We can reprogram your limiting beliefs and balance out the perfectionist part of your personality. Contact me for more information.
You can also join me for the meditation below to begin working on embracing imperfections.
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