THE PERFECTIONIST—FEAR ARCHETYPE
The Perfectionist is often seen as a positive aspect that improves your likelihood of success. But it can also take you down the rabbit hole with self-defeating thoughts and behaviors.
If you have the Perfectionist archetype, in all likelihood, it was a pattern of behavior that you formed in early life as a survival technique to a traumatic event(s), physical, emotional, or psychological, to alleviate painful emotions. Or you may have been valued by your parents, teachers, and other authority figures for your achievements or what you accomplished, which caused your sense of value on other’s approval.
For whatever purpose it served in your childhood, the belief that you could stop bad things from happening if you tried harder, were better or perfect, allowed you to keep whatever atmosphere of security in your world, even though it wasn’t real. This belief, however, comes with a hefty price tag—your self-esteem or sense of self-worth.
The shadow fears of the Perfectionist are:
- The fear of being seen for who you truly are
- The fear of making mistakes
- The fear of not being accepted or liked
- The fear of failure
- The fear of being judged or criticized
- The fear of disapproval
The Perfectionist’s pattern of behavior strengthens each time it’s used not to feel negative emotions, and your authentic self, with all your perceived flaws, is pushed deeper into the shadow. However, your talents and gifts are also hidden.
If you are a Perfectionist, your main issue is you never feel that you or anything you do is good enough because there’s always something that needs to be fixed, improved, or healed. You are driven more by avoiding failure and not being good enough than the pursuit of perfection.
This approach of never being good enough creates a perpetual feeling of discontent. Like a hamster running on a wheel getting nowhere, you repeat the pattern again and again.
And this obsession with perfection keeps you in the shadow; you live in a nightmare, unable to enjoy life. The need to be perfect may cause you mental health issues, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and even suicide.
If you think you have the Perfectionist archetype:
- You may always strive for perfection; you may feel like a failure if something is not perfect.
- You may have difficulty finishing projects or not finish them at all; you procrastinate regularly.
- You may suffer from anxiety and stress, unable to relax.
- You have low self-worth and self-esteem.
- You may not be satisfied with your success because it isn’t good enough.
- You may have black-and-white or all-or-nothing thinking.
- You may become depressed if you don’t meet your goals.
- You may become defensive when someone provides you with constructive criticism; you may be hyper-sensitive.
Any of the aspects listed above can be detrimental to your life, whether personal, professional, community, or even spiritual.
So, how do you put a halt to a behavior pattern that most see as positive but one that is causing you problems?
The first step is to recognize your patterns. Be an observer of your daily actions and when and where you fall into them.
In your personal life, are you afraid to let people see who you are because you fear being rejected, so you believe, “If I’m perfect, no one will reject me?” Do you feel you are flawed and strive to cover them up to appear better than you are so that others won’t reject you?
Recollect one or two incidents where you felt rejected. How did you show yourself to others? What was the vulnerability that caused you to feel that way—was it your behavior, not meeting another person’s expectation, or something else? Do you feel threatened? Do you think you’re not good or worthy enough for them?
Take some time with your thoughts and emotions, allowing them to be just as they are without judging them. Be patient; it may take a while, but notice how you feel when you’ve done it.
Professionally, striving for perfection can cause you to delay submitting your project or spend too much time on details, which can lead to chaos and undermine your company. Or, you feel you don’t have enough time to do it perfectly, so you procrastinate and delay starting it all together. And because of time constraints, you suffer from stress and anxiety.
Do you hear a voice in your head say, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right?” How would it feel to silence this self-talk, knowing it is a force in the way? You can—by closing the door and shutting it how. You can do this by:
- Turning to self-affirmations such as “My best is good enough,” “Action is better than perfection, and “I’m always learning and improving.” My favorite is “Procrastinate later.“
- Accept your thoughts, but don’t give into them.
- Record any emotional responses that arise, allowing yourself to welcome them fully.
When you slow down and look for the causal level of your behavior, you’ll find you’re making up for something you lost earlier in life. And, it most likely is a belief that you created as a survival mechanism that no longer serves you.
When you are in the Perfectionist archetype’s shadow, issues arise that cause you trouble. Stepping into the light is a conscious decision where you recognize and acknowledge the behavior. Changing your thoughts through self-affirmations and visualization is necessary to reprogram your mind. You can then walk through any fears you feel and express the emotion or emotions you have freely.
To thoroughly rid yourself of old, limiting beliefs, it’s essential to completely dis-create them. As a Certified Clear Beliefs Coach, I help guide you through the Imaginary Realm where a negative belief, one that no longer serves you, is pulled out and destroyed, much like an unwanted weed. As a result, space is generated for you to create a new, more empowering belief—one that gives you the experiences you desire in life. It’s simple but not easy.
The same can be said about life; life can be simple but isn’t always easy.
Schedule your free 15-minute assessment today!