As we officially enter the season of big events with the upcoming holidays + new year juuuuust around the corner, we thought it would be the ideal time to talk about the unique challenges — and opportunities! — that these types of big days + events present for us recovering perfectionists.
While some of us are drawn to conflict like a magnet, most of us recovering perfectionists and people pleasers avoid discord and fights at all costs. The mere concept of disagreement has us feeling overwhelmed and wanting to run full speed in the opposite direction. We don’t know what to do, what to say, how to keep from crying -- or worse, laughing -- at the most inappropriate times.
You know that feeling when you’re just waiting for the other shoe to drop? You’re scared, constricted, expecting the worst, have a rollercoaster in the pit of your stomach — and not the good kind. 🎢 That’s what it feels like to be approaching life from a place of scarcity. Sounds pretty freaking gross, right?
Productivity, income, career, weight + body shape, relationships… We perfectionists and recovering perfectionists are pros at setting unrealistically high expectations for ourselves and others in each of those areas and more. Living with high expectations is practically a perfectionist superpower. Whether applied to ourselves or those around us, our over the top expectations inevitably lead to disappointment, judgment, criticism, and anger. These expectations can cut down our self-esteem and self-worth, sabotage our relationships, and stand in the way of getting what we truly want.
How many of us are walking around this world every day in an invisibility cloak? Trying to take up as little space as possible -- literally and figuratively, staying safely within the boundaries of our comfort zones, and hoping no one really sees or notices us. Because if they did, they might notice our flaws, our eff ups, our shortcomings. The last thing most of us recovering perfectionists want to invite into our lives is more judgment, whether from ourselves or others, and visibility often means vulnerability.
For most of us recovering perfectionists, our relationship status with change is: It’s complicated. We love us some homeostasis, right? Control, stability, certainty. Just reading those words gives us the warm fuzzies. But what about growing, striving, becoming better, pursuing (the lie of) perfection? Well, that requires change.
From choosing what to have for dinner to planning our next career moves, making a decision can feel im-freaking-possible for us recovering perfectionists, people pleasers, and comparison junkies. We become paralyzed by allllllllll the options and by our desire to make the “perfect” choice so we can somehow miraculously avoid any possibility of failure or regret. We search for certainty and guarantees of success where none exist and often get stuck in endless surveying and outsourcing our decisions to others.
Of all the things we want less of in our lives, most of us would put stress at the top of that list. Less stressing means more living, right?
Our guest this week, Courtney Elmer, learned that lesson the hard way when she was diagnosed with cancer at age 25. Since then, she’s made it her mission to bring more life into her life and those of the people she coaches. As an Empowerment Speaker and Stress Coach, Courtney shows us how to pinpoint and eliminate the underlying causes of stress and overwhelm so we can live more vibrant, fulfilling lives.
Which of these sounds scarier…
Being forced to watch 90 minutes of a gruesome horror movie or
Having to sit in complete silence for the same amount of time?
It turns out that can be a tough choice, especially for us perfectionists. Silence can be scary, and although it may seem counterintuitive, it can be productive, too.
It’s no surprise that we talk a lot around here about what it means to be a perfectionist, so we’re switching things up today with our guest, Ryan Glassmoyer, who is a coach, workshop facilitator, and self-proclaimed proud imperfectionist. And because anxiety and perfectionism are closely linked, Ryan schools us on using self-love, personal responsibility, and mindfulness to build new habits, reduce + manage our anxiety, and turn down the volume on the chaos in our lives.
Uncertainty, unpredictability, ambiguity, doubt… More than the goriest horror movie, these gray area situations can strike fear in heart of many a recovering perfectionist. 😱 As perfectionists, we tend to gravitate toward structure and rules as a way to keep ourselves “safe,” and our preference for certainty can suck us deep into the trap of black and white thinking.
Perfectionism clearly gets a bad rap around here at Middle Finger to Perfection, and we tend to talk a lot about the struggles and downsides of perfectionism, people pleasing, and worthiness seeking, but are there good things about being a perfectionist? Today, Ashley and I shine some light on the positive side effects and hidden benefits of perfectionism. Welcome to the perfectionist hype hour! 🙌
Are confidence and humility mutually exclusive, or can they coexist peacefully? For many of us recovering perfectionists and people pleasers, humble is our default setting, maybe even too humble. What happens, though, when we start to notice the subtle and not-so-subtle downsides to making ourselves smaller and less important? How can we start to build confidence and -- gasp! -- maybe even step into some swagger? Turn your 🎧 up to find out.
It’s probably not news to you that one of our favorite mantras around here is imperfect and enough. So, it’s probably also not surprising that we love the quote, “Perfect is the enemy of good.” Today’s guest, Sarah Von Bargen, is all about saying yes to doing things imperfectly and letting that be good enough. Through her wildly popular blog, Yes and Yes, she spreads the word that things don’t have to be perfect, they just have to be something.
As recovering perfectionists, we’re so easily tempted by endless dreaming and scheming only to come up with every excuse not to take action.
‘My dream is too big. It’ll take too much time, too much work, too much money. I have no idea how to make it happen, and look at all the other people out there who are already doing it better than I ever could.’
No matter how much our rational brain knows that “perfect” relationships are a mythical unicorn (i.e., they don’t exist 🦄😭), our perfectionist brain inevitably tries to convince us that if we work really hard and do allllllll the right things, we’ll be able to ride that unicorn off into the sunset. But relationships are tough enough. We certainly don’t need toxic perfectionism creeping in and eating away at them.
Failure is such a freaking loaded term, and so many of us recovering perfectionists live in fear of it, desperately trying to avoid it at all costs. But in running from failure, we rob ourselves of so much goodness + joy along the way. Does failure really have to be such a bad thing? Is there a way for us to stop demonizing it...and maybe even start to embrace it? 😱 In this mini episode, we explore the concept of reframing failure (and success) and learning to see it as information, feedback, and maybe even a good thing.
With all the goodness of summer in full swing comes the familiar frenetic energy around bikinis and “beach bodies.” I’m sorry, what?? Ashley + I are so over all of this bikini body BS. It really brings down our summer vibes and completely conflicts with one of our favorite life mottos: Have body, wear bikini (or whatever the eff else you want).