6 Ways to Get Rid of Perfectionism Even When Excuses Abound

“How did you start to get rid of perfectionism and make the steps to become an author? How did you transition from living your “past life” to the life you have now?”

Here’s what I know: Perfectionism is fancied-up fear. To paraphrase Liz Gilbert in Big Magic, it’s fear in a fur coat. Perfectionism may seem classy and high-functioning, but deep down it’s just you being afraid.

How to overcome fear in four words? Ground yourself in love.

That’s the larger principle, but what does it look like to LIVE that truth, day in and day out? Here are a few helpful ideas for your journey.

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Put On Your Own Mask First (Yes, You Really Can)

“Nice try,” the counselor said with a kind smile. “But there’s one thing … ”

He bent his head to write on my paper, and I frowned. I’d labored over the words of the affirmation, trying hard to get them exactly right.

It was one of my first workshops at The Clearing, the residential rehab where I spent a month learning how to heal the underlying core issues that drive substance abuse.

(Though I didn’t use drugs, my work as a digital copywriter and some unexpected struggles opened a door for me to participate in the program.)

Our participant group was charged with writing personal affirmations, and I’d thought that mine was done: “I am a strong, courageous woman, living in my integrity, loving myself and others.”

I’d chosen each word with care, so where had I gone wrong?

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For the Ones Who Hide Away When They’re Struggling

“Hi friend, how are you doing today? Thinking of you and sending love your way.”

I press send on the text, then click my phone screen off. I know better than to expect an immediate response from friends who hide away when they’re struggling.

My friend deals with depression and anxiety, and I know that this is a challenging time for her. I also know that when things get tough she tends to go dark.

Still I send the message and the love anyway. I pray that it can help her to defy the voices that tell her that she’s a bad friend, that she’s just bringing everybody down, that nobody cares.

Sure, sometimes her virtual disappearances get frustrating, but I know that that’s because I do the same.

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