Oprah, in her Life Class series, has recently been offering the teachings of Brene Brown PhD, LMSW. Brene is author of the book, The Gifts of Imperfection.
Have you ever interfaced with someone who is a perfectionist? What are your thoughts about this type of mindset? Do you believe he or she is healthy? Are you on a quest for perfection? You might think twice about this mission after reading this.
Brene shared some insightful words on this topic. Her definition of perfectionism, “It’s a way of thinking that means this; if I look perfect, live perfect, work perfect, I can avoid or minimize criticism, blame and ridicule.
When perfectionism is driving, shame is always riding shotgun and fear is that annoying backseat driver.”
She believes the drive of perfectionism is an unhealthy, heavy, shield carried around, a sort of armor to keep you from being hurt.
Are you wondering how to achieve a healthy balance in motivating oneself to achieve greatness without losing yourself in this self-sabotaging perfectionist behavior? Brene calls a healthy reach, striving for excellence.
She explains the difference, “Healthy striving is internally focused, I want to do this and be the best I can be.” It is something you are doing for you! In comparison, “Perfectionism is not about what I want, perfectionism is, what will people think?” It is more in-line with keeping up a façade instead of genuine intent.
Brene offers a unique perspective, some food for thought about the need to be perfect. I’ve said in the past, to be human is to be imperfect; this is how we learn and get better. If you are putting yourself on the same page as God, you are sacrificing a lot and your unrealistic expectation is causing you and your loved ones undue hardship.
Give yourself permission to be human; you can still give your best in your stride for excellence. This is a much healthier path; give it a try.