Is Perfectionism Holding You Back and Depriving Others?

Needing to be perceived as perfect, by myself as well as others, I have neglected you, my dear readers. I’ve been looking for the “right” theme to be consistent and then prejudging, without asking, what you might want to be seeing/reading from me. The following story is one of many in the past several months since I’ve been in contact with you… always wavering on what to write about, what you might want.

Almost two months ago, when walking in Wakodahatchee Wetlands, with the late afternoon sun behind me, one of my first “eye-catchers” came when I glanced down and saw my image so tall and THIN reflected below me. I was excited. I immediately straightened up and my body instantly felt and reflected the power that I saw in my stance.

“What a great story,” I thought, “to share with you” and I did not.  I started, and continued for the past 2 months, observing my shadows at different times and locations… location of light, type of light, etc.  None of this necessarily would have an impact on you. We’re not about science here. It’s photos and shifting perspectives, mainly in relationships, with self and others that’s been the underpinning of the bulk of what we’ve been doing within these mailings and posts for years.

Insights that I have pointed out to you over the years with “Self-Reflecting Queries” were also important for years.  What I “learned” and was reminded of from my image on the concrete, was the empowerment of shifting my body to a more erect position when I’m working. This can be seated in front of my computer, standing working in the kitchen, and even walking in the supermarket. I usually experience a difference in self-confidence and in feeling powerful.

I invite you to try this, body shifting to erectness, if you’re not already doing this. Facial expressions and smiles at others, even ourselves, in mirrors make a difference.  “Give a smile. Get a smile.”

I had thought to share all this with you and stopped. All the delays and not-doings are related to my need to be perfect, or perceived of as such… AND WHO AM I to be the judge of what you will or will not value without giving you the opportunity to decide for yourself.

In conclusion, I’d love to hear/read in a comment below this post, what your experience(s) with perfectionism has/have been or is. How, if at all, have you overcome it.

I also would very appreciate your sharing with me what you would most like to me to be sharing/teaching in regular emails and posts.

As always, I thank you for being in my life. You make a huge difference.

With appreciation and love,

Sheila Finkelstein, Shifting Perspectives Mentor and Coach


Is Perfectionism Holding You Back and Depriving Others? — 4 Comments

  1. Perfectionism prevents many projects from being started or finished. It is something that is taught in schools around the world. It’s something that is taught in religions. It is taught as a way to control people. As long as you are striving for perfection, you will rarely finish what you begin. You will be caught in an endless circle, always striving for something that cannot be achieved. Because you are creating the standards yourself. One of my favorite books is “On Becoming An Artist” by Ellen J. Langer. (She is the person who did the experiment where are the older people became younger when surrounded by an environment that was a few decades earlier for a week.) It is one of the most profound books I’ve ever read! She decided to do define herself as an artist, instead of judging herself by everyone else’s work!

    I have yet to meet a person who feels they are without defects or faults. In fact, they can make a longer list of things they feel wrong with themselves, than things they like or love about themselves! Many parents, in an attempt to help their children, point out what they’re doing wrong many more times, growing up, than they ever complement them! Teachers tend to point out our mistakes more often, rather than complimenting us for doing a good job. In some religions you were born in sin, and must strive for perfection in order to get into heaven! And on, and on it goes. It’s easy to control people when you make them strive for something they feel is impossible.

    Just like you taking so long to put out the newsletter. I feel what makes us beautiful is our differences. We are created by something wondrous and mysterious! I noticed that each apple tree is a one of a kind, unique, original being. So is every tree, every butterfly, every bird, every whale, and so it goes. Science now even admits, even every snowflake is different!

    We were designed to each be UNIQUE for a reason! For a divine reason! No two things are ever the same! In fact, no two moments, no two sunsets…. are exactly the same in your life! I feel there is a reason for this, since it exists in all of creation. Only humans want to create one million …phones, shirts, chairs, cars, that are all exactly the same! In fact, they sell the ones that have little differences in them as flaws for less money!

    Most of us, are taught to compare ourselves to those around us. People who look nicer according to us, people who dress better, people who give better presentations, people, who sing better, people who are “more successful,” and so it goes. Always seeking for perfection and feeling …less than whole.

    At 74 years old, I’m beginning to believe I was born perfect! A perfect divine creation! It’s only all the programming I have received since being born that convinced me I was less than that. Every child’s drawing is precious whatever it is. I am unique and I thought so I think every day, and what I do is not duplicated by any of the other 8 billion people on this planet! It’s amazing to know that no one is thinking my exact thoughts and doing my exact things, living in a home like I do, on the entire planet! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and so is perfection. At least this is my two cents this morning. Thank you for reminding me my book will be original. I don’t need to compare it to anything else, in order to have it be amazing or inspiring to some people! it will be my own unique creation! I’ve begun and stopped it many times, fearing what other people would think. Gratefully, I’m over that phase of my life. Thank you for your beautiful newsletter which is always inspiring. Much love Morgine.

  2. WOW, Morgine!!! Thanks so much for your detailed and informative reply.

    I’m glad that you did something from my post, the reminder that your book will be original, that you do not need to compare it to anything else.

    Much success with it and your continuing journey. Much love back, Sheila

  3. Some of our greatest “faults” are also our greatest assets. I’m stubborn as the day is long, but if perceived from a different perspective, it can be seen as perseverance, and that has served me well.

    There is also a Japanese concept called “wabi sabi” meaning the perfection of imperfection. When I ran across this perspective, it helped me to see everything as “perfect”. I have antique “brown furniture” which other people see as “junk”. I love that there is only one piece of nicked up, repaired, and restored piece in the world like the things I have in my house.

    What we are told is “perfect” just may not be.

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