Perfectionism is a Joy Killer. And it’s Curable.

The worst thing about perfectionism is that it is a Joy Killer. But the best thing about it is that it is curable.

I know this because I was one. As a perfectionist, I had really high standards for myself and for others.

Having high standards is not so much the problem, but it’s having standards that you set so high. If things aren’t perfect then it’s never good enough.

But let’s face it. We’re human. We’re never going to be perfect.

Things never seem to be good enough so it made me judgmental and critical of myself and of others. It made me more controlling, more highly-strung and it robbed me of so much joy because in any given moment, I was wanting things to be better than the way that they were, so it was a total joy-kill.

Sometimes we look at our traits of perfectionism as if it’s a virtue like something we’re kind of proud of because we have so much high standards. But the author Liz Gilbert, in her book “Big Magic”, she encourages us to see perfectionism for what it really is which is actually just another form of fear.

Gilbert says that perfectionism is like fear in fancy shoes and a mink coat. It’s just fear dressed up. But in truth, what perfectionism is saying underneath that guise is “I’m not good enough and I will never be good enough.”

Brené Brown says that perfectionism is a shield to protect us from the pain of blame and judgement and shame.

To overcome this joy-killing tendency, it doesn’t mean that we completely drop our standards and that we don’t still strive to be the best that we could be. Because the truth is you are enough. You are worthy just because you exist. You don’t need to strive to earn your worth. You don’t need to strive to prove yourself to anybody.

Let go of perfectionism because we’re human, we’re perfectly imperfect. It means that we should allow ourselves to embrace and even love the messiness of life. Lighten up, bring in more humor and joy, laugh at life, laugh at the messiness, laugh at the imperfection. Embrace and enjoy it.

Life just becomes so much more wonderful and joy comes flooding in when we allow ourselves to enjoy life in all its imperfection and messiness.

 

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16 Responses to Perfectionism is a Joy Killer. And it’s Curable.

  1. Thank you Kelly, I saved this for when I could appreciate it. I do. I am not perfect and I like that. My Mum is so critical of my life! Hey I am sixty eight when will she ever let go? I feel she wants me to be her entertainment my sister’s feel that way too. We all live her but she kills the joy when we tell her what we are doing. Always catastrophsing this will happen that will happen don’t do it. Puts enormous pressure on me. What date in May please? I have another commitment. I think it’s 13th.

  2. Love your work. The words are ones that everyone can relate to. I hope that this type of philosophy/psychology/living skills is reaching our young people to help them adjust to this fast paced, be successful, be the best, be the richest, be the most beautiful, competitiveness that is plaguing out society. It would be great to have alternative ways of thinking to help young people grow into well adjusted happy adults.
    Thanks Kelly for all your work.

  3. Thank you Kelly. I have been a perfectionist for so long, it’s been exhausting. Your words and view are so simplistic and very helpful.

  4. Kelly I love your videos! Thank you so much for them. I wish one day we meet personally and will give you a grateful hug. Light and love blessings

  5. “You are enough, just as you are now.” Love this line in particular Kelly. I just shared this with friends. ❤️👍🌹

  6. Thanks Kelly,
    I really enjoyed your video and can totally relate. Unfortunately, obtaining a teaching position in Perth is highly competitive and to earn an interview, I need to present an application that proves I’m the best candidate. Writing in detail about situations, actions and outcomes is really taking the joy out of teaching because I constantly have to prove that I’m good enough. I teach children to embrace mistakes, but wish I knew how to escape that fear of judgement. 😕

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