I come from a long line of perfectionists. My mother, her mother, my grandmother’s mother…well, you get the point. And, if you’re female, you probably share the point. Before we start a Facebook page celebrating our awesomeness or inserting this line into our resumés, let’s get clear on what being a perfectionist is really all about:
Perfectionism is fear in high heels.” ~Elizabeth Gilbert
Perfectionists are famous for one thing…and it’s not being perfect…it’s for never finishing. It’s a weapon we use against ourselves. Call it fear in disguise…fear in drag, but, make no mistake, perfectionism is more vice than virtue. Just like shyness…
Being shy is not cute. Being shy is playing scared. It’s not knowing your self-worth. And, it’s holding you back from all the good stuff life wishes to serve you. ~Me (The rest is here.)
Our behavior embellishes an underlying belief. With perfectionism, the unfortunate belief is that we have to be perfect to be loved. With shyness, we don’t feel entitled to participate, so we shy away. In either case, we are running away scared. While fear is essential like essential fatty acids (because without fear, we’d say “yes” to BAD things…like an invite to a timeshare presentation…), it must be acknowledged and kept in check.
We think, putting stuff (or ourselves…) out there in the world when it’s not perfect is scary, dangerous…downright reckless…and yet, strangely familiar??
Liz Gilbert had us all laughing when she exclaimed:
It never stopped men!”
I started laughing because it reminded me of my lunchtime conversation…with my fiancé.
My fiancé is one of those guys who can do anything athletically. The polar opposite of me. I need to analyze, practice, perfect, singularly focus…often, for years, before I feel comfortably confident in the doing. My fiancé has never had a golf lesson, and he plays pretty well given he has NO IDEA what he’s doing.
While here at the Chopra Center, he started reading Deepak’s book…and, yesterday, he took his first golf lesson. Within an hour of these two activities (reading a few pages and taking a 30 min golf lesson), he was invited to join a tournament…a GOLF tournament…that is happening TODAY! (What the…?!) Wait, it gets better…
When he asked what handicap he needed, the reply was 15. My fiancé is more like 23-25. I mean, he was…
Liz referred to this admiringly as “stupid overconfidence”. Men…many men…have this. Some women do, too. Here’s the admiring part of it. In that leap of stupid overconfidence, something molecular happens. The Universe meets you halfway. So, by the time you land, you are. In the doing, you receive the mastery.
Stop hiding behind your “need” to be perfect. The world wants to meet you. The world is waiting for you to leap.