For those of us accustomed to living shame-based lives, perfectionism and people-pleasing are our maladaptive ways of coping with our deep-seated insecurities. Yet my experience has been that not only are they impossible goals, striving to achieve them becomes far more painful than living with our insecurities and learning to love ourselves in spite of our limitations.
Years in Recovery and ongoing efforts, like reading this book by Brene’ Brown, have made shame a much less frequent companion for me:
“Perfectionism is not the same thing has striving to be your best. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgement, and shame. It’s a shield. It’s a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from flight.”
-Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are