I just want everything to go perfectly. Scrutinizing every little detail, planning out every step of the way, so that nothing’s left to chance, nothing can go wrong, and most importantly, everything will go just how I want it to.. perfectly!
This way of life is draining!
It didn’t hit me just how seriously I was committed to perfectionism until I gave my second speech at a Toastmasters club and walked off the stage so disappointed in myself because I forgot my train of thought and stumbled for 2 seconds. It didn’t matter how well the rest of the speech had gone or how many people came up to me afterwards and congratulated me on an excellent job.
I felt unworthy of their praise.
I felt like a fraud.
After feeling bummed for the rest of the night, I took a step back and looked at the situation objectively. My speech was about my relationship with money to celebrate the recent launch of my Maximize your Money Maker transformational coaching program. It started to sink in that this was my SECOND time speaking at Toastmasters and my FIRST time speaking to a group of people professionally on the topic of money.
How could I judge my entire performance based on just 2 seconds?
The rest of the speech had gone without a hitch!
I began to lovingly laugh at myself! My perfectionist was working overtime that night and I decided to give her the rest of the week off. But since she’s a workaholic and wouldn’t go easily, I had to be strategic.
I did two things that changed my entire perspective.
First, I said thank you.
“Thank you my inner perfectionist for wanting me to get everything I want, for dedicating yourself to my happiness. I know this is the true purpose you serve. Thank you.”
Second, I asked myself, “What do I want to experience instead?” This opened a door that was previously invisible!
What if I could be happy and get what I want WITHOUT stressing over all the nitty gritty details, WITHOUT feeling disappointed when something doesn’t go perfectly as planned?
Over the past month, inviting in this new experience each day, I’ve been so much more relaxed. I’ve been heavily sighing and exhaling out all of this stressful energy that was stashed away deep within. Spring cleaning for the soul!
I’ve purposefully delayed planning trips, getting ready for outings, picking out clothes, and looking up directions until the last minute, because I realized the sooner I start planning, which was usually days in advance, the more time I have to worry about it. Waiting until the day of means I actually get to SLEEP WELL the night before! Holy crap! I had no idea how much energy my super pre-planning perfectionist was sapping from me! She might be a workaholic but she sure as heck isn’t efficient!
During this time of new perspective, plans got cancelled, rescheduled, and cancelled again. People took longer than promised to get back to me. Flight times changed from an intentionally selected late morning take off to having to get up at an awful 4 am. Every single pair of headphones and earbuds I own have broken within weeks of each other. Then to top it off, I hurt my ankle and had to sit around the house for an entire weekend, the one weekend when my boyfriend was gone, so I was all ALONE.. feeling like a complete bum.
Years prior, any of these would set me off. I’d throw a tantrum, question why everything works out for everyone else but always went horribly wrong for me, and go into inner silent mode, shutting everyone out. Even a recent version of myself would feel like the world was working against me. Why couldn’t it just work as I’d planned it?
Yet as these things happened this time around, I found myself worrying very little, and trusting that I’m doing the best I can, and opportunities will come again, perhaps with even better timing and circumstances than before.
PHEW! Doesn’t that feel good?
Rescheduled plans worked out just fine at their later date, my new Bluetooth headphones are AMAZING, and my ankle is doing much better. I didn’t miss out on much relaxing at home.
The bottom line:
I know my planning perfectionist has a good intention, and yours does too, but we deserve to stress less. We can find a happy medium between perfectly controlling our lives and going with the flow with each outcome as it happens, trusting it will all work out for the best in the end.
Your Turn: In what area of your life may you be stressing or worrying too much? How can you say thank you to that part of you? What would YOU like to be experiencing instead? Leave us a comment below. Trust that you have the power to create the life and experience you want for yourself.