I knew I was a perfectionist the day I got into a car crash on the way to high school.
The accident totaled our family’s pretty blue Chrysler Concorde, and I wasn’t in great shape either. Thankfully I didn’t sustain significant physical injuries, but I was hyperventilating, trembling, and generally traumatized.
Still, my tears were barely dry when I insisted on going straight to school.
Why? Well, I thought that since I’d already screwed up by getting into the accident and missing two classes, taking a day off was out of the question.
Though I would never have asked a frightened friend to soldier on like that, I demanded it of myself.
I had to keep striving. There was no room for letting myself be looked after. I couldn’t afford to make yet another mistake.
Portrait of a Perfectionist
I see you, friend.
Our lives may be very different, but both of us discern a vast distance between who we are and who we want to be.
You work hard to get it right and help others, but you have a tough time offering compassion to yourself.
You’re the one who keeps it together. Friends and family members turn to you when they’re struggling, but you feel bad about seeking support of your own.
You’re hyper-aware of what other people are feeling, but your own emotional states are more of a mystery. Sometimes you cry and you have no idea why.
The Pain of Perfectionism
How do I know this? Well, partly because I’m the same way, and partly because you’ve told me so. Take this message I received from a reader:
“I can relate to so much you mentioned on your site that I feel like I know you. I am very good at offering advice and help but never want to ask or accept help. I don’t think I am worthy of love or companionship and if I am able to do it on my own than I should. I feel guilty about everything I do and say … it is exhausting.”
Messages like these break my heart. I know how painful it is to feel like a failure at life.
But the silver lining is that I’m motivated to keep on writing for you, to keep showing up and sharing what I’ve learned about getting real and letting go.
That’s why I created a new free offering for you.
The Perfectionist Recovery Toolkit has Arrived!
Your Free Toolkit Contains:
- The Five Day Goodbye Good Girl Challenge (new subscribers will receive this as an email series; existing subscribers will receive it as a print-ready PDF)
- Self-Care Permission Slip for Recovering Perfectionists (1 page full color, print ready PDF)
- 10 Life-Saving Mantras for Recovering Perfectionists (1 page full color, print ready PDF)
- 16 Songs to Include on Your Recovering Perfectionist Playlist (1 page print ready PDF)
- Getting Real & Letting Go: A Collection of Quotes for Recovering Perfectionists (25 page full color, print ready PDF ebook)
(Plus, free digital versions of my first two books on caregiving and challenging relationships are now available on our Books page.)
If you’ve subscribed via email, you don’t need to do a thing; this new content is already on its way to your inbox. If you haven’t subscribed, what are you waiting for?
Unlock the Free Perfectionist Recovery Toolkit!
You’ll also get posts via email & Your Weekend Wish, a fun weekly missive for subscribers only.
Solemn No Spam Vow: I promise never to share your email with anyone else.
I hope that the new materials help you to feel loved and liberated, found and free.
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PPS – Ready to change the thoughts that keep you stuck and stressed? Join me and Brooke Adams Law for Protect Your Energy: Stop Draining and Start Living, a four-week online course starting Monday, July 10.