Perfectionism

and ways of thinking about it

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So many of the young people I have worked with over the years struggle with perfectionism.  One of the ways I work with perfectionism is to turn it into a character and very often she is very closely related to our inner critic.

Perfectionist and the Inner Critic hang out together and sometimes seem like the same inner person who keeps us awake at night worrying.  They can be bullies and they get in the way of us finding pride and joy in our success as they point out how it still isn’t good or perfect enough.

Some people know very clearly when, where and why Perfectionist and Inner Critic were conceived, but that isn’t really needed in order to work with them, and to get them to work with us rather than against us.  You see, what I have learned after hundreds of hours listening to clients is that they mean well, they want us to do our best and to be the best.  They just aren’t very kind or realisitic.

So it was facinating to talk to Katharine York on the podcast this week.  She works in the wind energy industry, she is a pilot and I met her when we were doing our yoga teacher training.  She is articulate, bright and thoughtful and yet in this conversation she talked about how perfectionism has been a problem for her, how it took the joy from her art when she was younger and how only now is she starting to re-engage in playful mark making.

As the conversation evolved into a discussion of learning and failure has to be part of learning something new, we also began to grapple with how perfectionism links to labels; ‘good’ work, ‘pretty’ looks, being a ‘woman’ in male industries.  If we have a label, we feel the pressure to live up to it, the ‘A grade’ student struggles when they get a C because this is not part of their identity.

The conversation made me even more aware of how I use language for myself and others, because language is a powerful mediator of our reality.

Listen to our conversation here 

Katharine teaches yoga, flies planes and works in the wind power industry. You can find links to the things we talk about on the podcast link above.  You can get in touch with me about coaching or to read my books or access free materials at https://www.julieleoni.com

Julie Leoni

Regenerative living coach, author, podcaster, facilitator, educator, Dr

Business as usual is no longer possible.  We need to dramatically shift how we think and live in order that the planet and all those people we share it with as well as our children's children, flourish.  This is the time of the Great Turning (Joanna Macy) and each of us can play our part in tipping life towards health and well-being for all.

Finding your thing or things can be the most radical thing you can do for your own well-being and for the well-being of the planet.

Work with me to create a life where your energy, health, social connection and emotional and social well-being are not just sustained, but improve, regeneratively. 

I am an author, educator and researcher who coaches individuals and organisations to find more regenerative ways of living and working in order to support the health of all peoples, the more than human world and future generations.

My work is based on wisdom from indigenous people, science, and my own direct relationship with people and the more than human world which have taught me about the interconnectedness of all things, and our dependency on each other for well-being.

There are more things to measure than income and status so let's start creating the world we want our grandchildren to live in.  It starts here and it starts now with each of us, daily.  

Get in touch to have a conversation.

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