As women, it makes a world of sense that we default to perfectionism as an approach. Social structures and norms perpetuate and reinforce perfectionism for women in so many ways – ways we often don’t notice.
And that’s because a lot of people like the surface-level benefits that having a perfectionist in their life provides. Our employers may get high-quality, high-volume results without errors from us. Maybe our partners get to do less with a perfectionist in their lives, or have a clean house, or have a partner who takes care of her body. And our kids – maybe they get more attention, more stuff, more activities; whatever it is that having a perfectionist parent affords them.
But at the end of the day, perfectionism undermines what people really want deep down. Our employers also want employees who learn, who take risks in service of innovation and integrity, who welcome diverse perspectives and experiences. Our partners crave compassionate relationships where they are accepted and loved for who they are. And our kids also want loving relationships where they are accepted for who they are, and where they get to know their true parent, not the person she is performing or trying so hard to be in service of being a “perfect parent.”
It’s so easy to default to giving people the things they seem to want on the surface. But it takes courage – along with open, honest conversations – to give people the things they actually want deeper down, which might mean they have to give up some of the superficial benefits that perfectionism affords them. But I promise you – and I promise them – it will be worth it.
Join our inspiring group of women committed to supporting each other on this journey to let go of the patterns of perfectionism that get in the way of the more meaningful, connected lives we desire. By joining our group, you'll take a huge step in the direction of giving yourself and others what you all want deeper down.