My soul-connected creative, hi! I’m back with the 8th problem in the #perfectionistproblems series. Can you believe it?
Perfectionism majorly and negatively affects your life in so many ways. Believe me, we’re onto episode 8 and we’re not even halfway through all of the #perfectionistproblems.
However, there are three #perfectionistproblems that jump out of the bunch. These are problems that almost every perfectionist has to deal with. After talking to and working with dozens of creatives, I’ve found that perfectionism shows up in three big ways:
2. Procrastination; and
3. People pleasing.
Let’s get to it...
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What is people pleasing exactly?
You might be wondering: “When you say people pleasing, what do you mean by that exactly?” Also, how do you know if you’re a people pleaser and how does perfectionism factor into all of it?
Good questions! Let’s get it sorted out.
If you’re a people pleaser, you might recognize this:
You find it hard to say no
You avoid conflict
You put other people’s needs before your own
You take care of others and feel guilty when you take care of yourself
You minimize your own feelings and needs
And you compromise your values so that other people will like you
That’s painful to read when it’s all written down like that, isn’t it? It is for me.
But remember, being a people pleaser isn’t an identifier. Don’t put that label on yourself. It doesn’t say anything about you as person or about your character.
People pleasing is a behavioral pattern. It’s a series of behaviors you’ve probably started to use as a coping mechanism for dealing with fear and uncertainty. A desire to please, searching for approval, and avoiding criticism are just some of these behaviors. And all of them are fueled by perfectionism.
The most painful and saddest thing about people pleasing is that it means you don’t think very highly of yourself and your capabilities. It means you don’t think you’re good enough and that you’re only good enough when someone else says so. It means hustling for your worth.
And then perfectionism comes along and lets you believe that if only things are perfect, people will like you and you won't be criticized. So, you set out on this neverending quest for perfection.
But the thing is…
It will never be perfect
Perfection is an illusion. It’s unattainable. It’s a hamster wheel in which you run in circles, but never reach the finish line.
Just because you’ll never achieve perfection doesn’t mean nobody will ever like you or appreciate your efforts.
People pleasing sucks you deeper into a cycle of self-doubt and low self-esteem and perfectionism is there to speed that cycle up.
You have no control over other people
Unless you have a magic super power, you have no control over other people's perceptions or responses. People will interpret your creative work as they want to. And they will react to your work as they want to. If they want to criticize, they will criticize.
All you can do is put your work out there (as a soul-connected creative you HAVE to, right?!) and remind yourself that how people react to your creative work says a great deal more about them than about your work.
“Love this! I think fear of what others will say is the biggest reason my inner perfectionist shows up. It sucks to be criticized or worse, made fun of, but at the end of the day, my content is about me and my community.”
All I can say is, it sucks to be criticized or made fun of or openly disliked. I think Emily does a great job focusing on herself, her values, and her community.
Perfectionism and people pleasing are a tough cycle to break. It’s a pattern, a coping mechanism you’ve probably used your entire life. So, for this week’s challenge (or action step) I want to start small. Just take one step, you’re first step on your way towards breaking that cycle.
I’m warning you, it may be a weird one…
This week I want you to make a conscious effort to disappoint someone every day.
You heard it right, go out there and practice disappointing someone every day. Tell your waiter how you really feel about the food, cancel plans with a friend because you are actually too busy, or say no to an additional work project because you know it’ll drain your energy instead of fuel your creativity. What could help you here is to find someone you can play this game with.
Need more help with overcoming your perfectionism? Click the button below and download your free 10+ page, step-by-step, perfectionism-busting workbook.
Hi there! I’m Wendy, founder of The Gratefulist and host of the #perfectionistproblems community for recovering perfectionists. I’m insanely passionate about helping you let go of your perfectionism. Let’s chat about the hard stuff - like dealing with comparison, people pleasing, your inner critic & starting a perfectionist detox - so that you can stop caring so much about what other people think and finally take on those dream projects that you've been putting off for so long.