Episode 168: How to Overcome Perfectionism

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In today’s episode, let’s talk about how to overcome perfectionism and fear of failure. Discover effective strategies on letting go of perfectionism and reclaiming your life. Learn to embrace imperfection, reduce stress, and achieve personal growth.

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Episode 168: How to Overcome Perfectionism

I’m a perfectionist.

Are you?

I say that with a smirk, and I also say that with a little bit of sarcasm.

The reason why I’m being a little sarcastic with this is because perfectionism can be the very thing that drains our vital life force.

🥀 Perfectionism and Its Effects

Perfectionism might seem like a desirable trait, but it’s crucial to recognize its potential downsides.
As someone who identifies as a perfectionist, I can attest to the importance of being mindful of this tendency.
Acknowledging when you’re in perfectionist mode and having an honest conversation with yourself can be a powerful first step.
Perfectionism can drain your vital life force, causing more harm than good.
It can stunt your spiritual evolution, hindering your growth and inner peace.
The idea of perfection might sound appealing, but the reality is that life is inherently imperfect.
We’re all navigating our paths as we go, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Staying in a state of perfectionism can lead to burnout.
It can push you into comparison mode, which is often said to be the thief of joy.
You might also find yourself in avoidance mode, shutting down and avoiding tasks in an attempt to make them perfect.
This avoidance prevents you from progressing to the next step in your journey.

❤️‍🩹 Identifying and Moving Out of Perfectionism

Perfectionism can be a challenging mindset to navigate, but acknowledging it is a crucial first step.
When you’re in perfection mode, it’s important to be honest with yourself about where you’re at.
Give yourself permission to recognize it, and then grant yourself permission to move out of it.
Perfectionism can be harmful in many ways.
It can make you hypercritical of yourself, leading to feelings of unworthiness.
You might also become overly critical of others, expecting them to meet unattainable standards, which can cause stress for both parties.
While it’s important to strive for high standards, sometimes “good enough” is better than nothing. It’s better than project delays, missing deadlines, or experiencing burnout.
Starting something, even if it’s not perfect, can help you get going and understand where you are and where you want to be.
Allow the journey to unfold and learn along the way.
Mastery comes with practice, not immediate perfection.
I often tell my Sacred Awakening students this when they first dive into the Akashic Records.

👩‍🏫 Practicing and Learning from Imperfection

In our journey through life, it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others who seem to have mastered their craft.
Yet, it’s vital to remember that everyone starts from ground zero.
Just like learning to draw a face, initial attempts may not be perfect.
The key is practice.
With each effort, the anatomy becomes more natural, revealing the beauty of imperfection.
Perfectionism, while seemingly aspirational, often acts as a thief of joy.
It narrows our vision, fixating on rigid expectations of how things should be.
Allowing ourselves to follow the natural flow of life, guided by the universe’s breadcrumbs, often yields outcomes far more magical than forced perfection ever could.
I’ve learned firsthand that trying to force things into a predetermined mold rarely turns out as planned.
Instead, when I surrender to the energy and let things unfold naturally, life becomes less stressful and more fulfilling.
The societal pressures tied to perfectionism can be overwhelming.
They create standards that may not align with our true desires or values.
Whose opinion truly matters? Ultimately, it’s our own.
Sacrificing our well-being to meet others’ expectations isn’t worth it.
Embracing imperfection, even if it means making mistakes along the way, allows us to grow authentically.
For me, letting go of perfectionism has been transformative.
Simply starting, without the weight of perfectionism, allows magic to happen.
It eases the stress in my body and opens the door to unexpected joys and successes.
However, our minds often lead us astray, pulling us back into the grips of perfectionism.
Recognizing these tendencies and consciously choosing to let go of perfectionism can lead to a more liberated and fulfilling life journey.

🌿 Roots of Perfectionism

Understanding the roots of perfectionism is crucial in determing how to overcome perfectionism and in reclaiming your joy and fulfillment.
For many, including myself, perfectionism stems from childhood experiences where achieving flawlessness seemed like the only path to acceptance and love.
This belief can seep into every facet of life, draining happiness and contentment from even our proudest moments.
Fulfillment, however, is the true goal—not perfection.
It’s that deep sense of happiness, joy, and peace that comes when we let go of unrealistic standards and embrace our journey authentically.
When we’re excited about our future endeavors instead of dreading them, that energy resonates positively with others.
Identifying where our perfectionism originates allows us to challenge its grip on our lives.
Whether it’s rooted in childhood expectations or societal pressures, recognizing its presence is the first step toward reclaiming our happiness.
By prioritizing fulfillment over perfection, we can cultivate a life rich with genuine satisfaction and peace.

🌿Depression, Criticism, and Surrendering

Perfectionism, while often seen as a drive for excellence, can paradoxically lead to feelings of depression and self-criticism.
When you strive tirelessly for flawlessness in every aspect of life, it’s easy to fall into a cycle of relentless self-judgment.
You may find yourself scrutinizing every detail, every action, wondering how you can make it all perfect.
But here’s the twist: the pursuit of perfection can also breed feelings of inadequacy and fear of failure.
It’s a relentless quest that often leaves us feeling never quite good enough.
Yet, amidst this struggle, there lies a profound truth: you are perfect just as you are.
Embracing imperfection is not about settling for less; it’s about accepting the journey of growth and evolution.
It’s acknowledging that where you are right now is exactly where you need to be—imperfectly perfect.
This acceptance frees you from the grip of perfectionism, allowing you to navigate life’s challenges with greater ease.
For many, surrendering to imperfection is a daunting act.
It means letting go of the constant need to control outcomes and embracing the idea that “good enough” is indeed good enough.
It’s about taking action without the paralyzing fear of failure or the weight of self-criticism.
Recognizing when perfectionism takes hold is the first step toward reclaiming your peace of mind.
Whether it manifests as burnout, feelings of inadequacy, or harsh self-judgment, acknowledging its presence allows you to take back control. Instead of striving for an unattainable ideal, you can focus on progress, learning, and growth.
In this journey, remember that imperfection is not failure—it’s humanity. It’s the messy, unpredictable path toward personal and professional fulfillment.
Embrace it, befriend it, and watch as your resilience and self-compassion grow stronger.

🧘 Showing Up and Embodying Human Experience

Being perfect isn’t the goal; it’s not what defines our journey as humans.
Instead, our mission is to show up authentically, embracing every emotion and experience that comes our way.
Fulfillment isn’t about achieving perfection in every aspect of life—it’s about showing up and trying our best.
The more we engage with life, the more we realize that true balance, peace, and self-worth come from embracing our imperfections.
We’re all amazing in our own unique ways, and we don’t need to live up to some ideal of perfection ingrained in us since childhood or adulthood.
You are worthy, just as you are.
You deserve to experience fulfillment and joy in this lifetime.
It’s about allowing yourself to flow with life, acknowledging your blessings, and accepting that it’s okay to be messy.
It’s in the messiness where growth and learning happen.
So, my friend, release the pressure of perfection.
Embrace your journey with all its ups and downs.
You are incredible, and your path to fulfillment starts with accepting yourself, flaws and all.
With love and blessings,

Amy Robeson

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Full transcription of the episode:

Hey, Amy Robeson here. Thank you for joining me on this podcast where we talk about spirituality, the awakening process, mental health, and so much more. Join me weekly to get your weekly dose of spirituality and medicine. I look forward to seeing you on the inside.

Hello and welcome to today’s episode. I’m so excited you are here. I’m a perfectionist. Are you? I say that with a smirk, and I also say that with a little bit of sarcasm. And the reason why I’m being a little sarcastic with this is perfectionism can be the very thing that drains our vital life force. We want to be careful being perfectionists. I know that I can identify and admit I’m a perfectionist, I will notice when I’m doing it, and I will have a talk with myself. Because being a perfectionist will drain your vital life force. It can cause you a lot more harm than good. It can stunt your spiritual evolution and prevent you from growing and being at peace. I know perfectionism sounds nice because it’s a state of being perfect, but everything in life is imperfect. And guess what? We’re all making this up as we go, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you stay in perfectionism, you can get burnt out. You can be in comparison mode. And comparison mode is the thief of joy. You can go into avoidance mode. If you’re sitting there trying to get something to be this perfect thing, you all of a sudden shut down and you avoid doing the very thing that you’re meant to be doing, which then prevents you from going to the next thing that you’re meant to do because you’ve done that other thing.

If you’re in perfection mode, you want to give yourself permission, to be honest, that that’s where you’re at, and then you’ll want to give yourself permission to move out of it. Other ways that perfectionism hurts us is it will cause you to be hypercritical of yourself, which then causes you to feel not worthy, or you might be super hypercritical of other people because you’re expecting them to meet a certain standard that they can never meet, which Which then causes you more stress, or it might cause that person stress, or it might cause you both stress. Now, I’m not saying don’t strive for high standards. Sometimes good enough is better than nothing, or good enough is better than project delays, missing deadlines, burnout. Sometimes we just have to start something in order to get going with it to then understand, this is where I’m at, this is where I want to be, allow me to allow the journey to unfold, and I will learn along the way. Because oftentimes people, when they’re striving for perfection, they want to be the master master at it. You can’t be the master at it unless you practice. I often tell my Sacred Awakening students this when they’re just going into the Akashic Records for the first time.

I know you see someone that has practiced a lot, and you might want to compare yourself to them, but don’t, because everyone had to start at some point in time at ground zero. And they had to work at it. It’s like someone that’s learning how to draw a face. The first time they draw, it’s not going to look the best, but the more you practice at it, the more that the anatomy shows up as more natural. But you have to practice. Perfectionism is not only the thief of joy, but it also causes people to not not see what their true potential is, and they get tunnel vision. So if someone’s in perfectionism, they get this tunnel vision of this is how it’s meant to be, this is how it’s meant to go. And if you give yourself permission to just allow things to naturally unfold by following the breadcrumbs that the universe lays out to you, it will turn out 10 times more magical. And I have found that whenever I try to force something to be a certain way, it never pans out the way it’s supposed to. But when I allow myself to just follow the energy, man, things work out really great.

I’m not as stressed out. When I’m stressed, all sorts of just not fun things start to happen. Perfectionism is not necessary if you want to be fulfilled. Perfectionism often plays into the idea of you have to meet a certain societal standard that is made up by a group of people that really don’t matter to you. Their opinion doesn’t matter. It might feel like their opinion matters, but at the end of the day, whose opinion matters is yours. If it prevents you from doing the things that you’re wanting to do, it’s not worth it. You’re better off making a mess and jumbling it all up and even screwing it up than to not do anything at all or to do it at such a high level of stress that you get sick, you get burnt out, you can’t communicate, you shut down. These are all different types of things that perfectionism can cause. For me, what I have noticed is when I say, You know what? Let’s just let go of it being perfect and let’s just get off start. Because if I can just get off start, magic happens. If I can get off start, the stress in my body can start to decompress.

But sometimes our minds go off in all of these different directions that cause us to still be in perfection mode. And it’s important to identify where that perfection is coming from so that you can go, No, that’s not necessary. So sometimes for me, perfectionism comes from my childhood and how I had to be perfect in order to feel like I was loved or to feel like I was seen. Because if I did something good and if I did it at the highest caliber possible, then I was lovable, I was worthy enough. Whatever the case is for you, you’ll want to identify because once you identify it, you’ll notice it in all the different areas of your life where it is It is depleting fulfillment from you. It is depleting fulfillment from you. Fulfillment is what we’re striving for, not perfection. Fulfillment is where you feel happy, you feel joy, you feel excited, you feel at peace, you feel at rest. You feel enlightened. You feel excited about the future. If you’re sitting there dreading what you’re about to do, That’s not fun. And guess what? Your energy doesn’t lie. And so dreading or being so stressed out when you’re doing it, people are going to pick up on that.

Even if you put your heart and soul into it, perfectionism can also cause depression. It can also cause deep, deep criticism of self I’ve already mentioned that piece, but I feel like these two things go hand in hand with one another. Because if you’re sitting there criticizing yourself all the time or noticing that you’re criticizing the things that you’re doing in a particular area of your life, ask yourself, how are you trying to make this perfect? Because if you can figure that piece out, you can then start to untangle yourself from the mess that you are in and trying to be perfect in that particular space, situation, or area of your life. The other thing about perfectionism, it can cause feelings of inadequacy or fear of failure. You are perfect the way you are. You are on a journey to evolve. The place that you are at is perfect. It’s perfectly imperfect. We have said a lot of perfects in this episode. But the thing is, we have to befriend where that space is and where you are at and go, It’s great. It’s okay. It has its challenges. But you know what? I can work through this.

You know what? I’m going to befriend that this is going to be imperfect, and it’s going to be messy, and it is great. It might not feel great. It might be really challenging and hard at first to be okay with not allowing it to be perfect. I know for me, that is the very act of surrender. And that’s hard for people where it’s like, Oh, I have to surrender to the fact that it’s not going to be perfect. I have to surrender to the fact that good enough is good enough. I have to surrender to the fact that it’s better to just allow myself to try than to not try because I’m just going to beat myself up and have failure to launch and have fear of failure and have feelings of inadequacy unless I actually just take action on that thing. When you can admit that you are in perfection mode or perfectionism is causing you to not be fulfilled or causing you to be burnt out or causing you to have feelings of inadequacy, causing you to have feelings of comparison, Causing you to be judgmental, causing you to be judgmental of other people, causing you to have depression.

The list goes on and on. Being perfect is not your job. Your job is to show up and to embody being human and all of the emotions that go along with it and finding fulfillment in all of the areas of your life. And That means you don’t have to be perfect in all those areas. You just have to show up and try. And the more you show up and try, the messier you get, the more you’re going to figure out where true balances and true pieces and true adequency is and true feelings of worthiness are. You are amazing, my friend, and you do not have to reach a level of perfection that your brain keeps telling you is necessary or your inner child is telling you is necessary because it’s from a learned behavior in childhood or a learned behavior in your adulthood. Whatever the case is, you are amazing, you are worthy, and you deserve to live heaven on Earth in this lifetime and be fulfilled while doing it. You are absolutely amazing, my friend. Let go of the need to be perfect and allow yourself to be in the flow of life where you are blessed and you recognize those blessings and you give yourself permission to just be messy because it’s okay to be messy because that’s where you grow and that’s where you learn.

All right, my friends, I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. Stop being perfect. Share this with a friend, and I look forward to seeing you in the next episode. Please make sure you like and subscribe. Bye.

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