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Perfectionism is something I have struggled with since I was a little girl. From the pressures of parents with high expectations to the competitive settings of music school and law school, I am no stranger to the harms of a perfectionist nature.
Whether you're a perfectionist yourself or you have people in your life who are struggling, it can be helpful to understand more about the motivations behind perfectionism. That's why I break down five specific ways that perfectionism can steal your joy, including:
- Perfectionism causes you to internalize and moralize the perfectionist worldview.
- It's easy to convince yourself that the only person your perfectionism is harming or hindering is yourself, but that's not true.
- Perfectionism creates an all-or-nothing, black-and-white mentality that doesn't reflect the real world.
- While perfectionism can feel like it's mostly about how you view yourself, it's actually fueled by a fear of how other people view you.
- Perfectionism will lead you to believe that you have to do everything by yourself.
For each of these five harms, I provide tools and strategies for letting go of your perfectionist tendencies. The key is to remind ourselves that mistakes aren't necessarily a reflection of the kinds of people we are inside. To be human is to be imperfect, and that doesn't make us less worthy of love or respect.
Mentioned in This Episode
- Health problems associated with perfectionism
- Fearing the Black Body by Sabrina Strings
- Anti-Diet by Christy Harrison
- White Supremacy Culture workbook excerpt by Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun
- What Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is and how it works
- List of possible books to use for self-guided Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff
- Kristin Neff's website which includes self-compassion exercises
- Satisfied from Hamilton
- This is Fine meme
- The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
Featured in This Episode
Shohreh Davoodi (she/her) was the host of the Conjuring Up Courage podcast during the show's three-year run. Currently, Shohreh is focusing her attention on being a writer and creator. You can keep up with Shohreh by subscribing to her newsletter, The Queer Agenda, and following her on Instagram and TikTok.
The Queer Agenda
The Queer Agenda is a newsletter dedicated to uplifting LGBTQIA+ folks (where our accomplices benefit too) by sharing thoughtful tools, strategies, advice, and encouragement to help us heal and come home to ourselves. It’s equal parts warm hug, gentle kick in the ass, and queer magic.