How Do I Stop Being a Perfectionist?

“How do I stop being a perfectionist? How do you move away from perfectionism?”

These are the questions you ask, and on one level the answers are simple.

We shift out of perfectionism through daily, real-world action, rewriting our old patterns of behavior and belief.

But you’re not just asking for the how-to. You’re asking for the hope. You’re asking, “Is it really possible for us to change?”

Let me tell you a story.

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Do More of What Feels Like Magic

There’s nothing kids love quite like feeling “grown up.” Give them some responsibility, and they’re hooked.

At least, that’s how I felt when I worked in my dad’s home office. My dad has his own business, and when he had invoices to mail, he let me help him prepare the envelopes.

This was thrilling to me. As a small child, I loved pressing the return-address stamp onto the black ink pad. I loved the stamp’s disappearing act, the swivel that made the raised letters come and go.

One moment, there were no words in the upper left hand corner of the envelope, and then next, there were several lines of text. Amazing!

Sure, I enjoyed pressing the stamps too, but I didn’t begrudge my younger brother Willie taking on that task instead. For me, the magic was always in the words.

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You Have Got To Reach

Once upon a time, I spoke to a woman who said, “I don’t feel adequate enough to talk to you.”

How’s that for an opening?

This woman had reasons to feel less-than, stuck, and scared. To protect her privacy, I won’t share those reasons here. It suffices to say that she had a tough history.

She dreamed of helping other people,
but struggled to help herself.

When I encouraged her to get support for her journey, she made an effort and asked for help once. But when she didn’t hear back, she stopped asking.

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