What is the cost of your perfectionism?
Joining (re) Define Perfection: Choosing Flexibility over Rigidity six week online experience will give you a chance to:
- Reflect on how perfectionism is impacting your life
- Examine how you typically respond to the fears of not being good enough
- Explore new ways to respond to perfectionism that fuel a wholehearted life
- Gain new insights and adjust any limiting stories
- See how the power curiosity, creativity, and courage help relax perfectionism
- Develop your customized wholehearted living plan in your own workbook along with a deeper understanding of perfectionism through the Internal Family Systems approach
- Support, challenge, + learn together with other individuals rumbling with perfectionism
“We have more access to information, more books, and more good science - why are we struggling like never before? Because we do not talk about the things that get in the way of doing what we know is best for us, our children, our families, our organizations, and our communities.”
— Excerpt from “The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are” by Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW
Like many of you, when I read Brené’s The Gifts of Imperfection, I was captivated by her research and her way of phrasing what I have struggled with for much of my life. I remember reading through this book underlining paragraphs, writing tons of personal thoughts and feelings in the margins.
I also told everyone I knew about this book who would listen - because perfection feels like a universal language and Brené just made it all the easier for us to have honest conversations about this thing that keeps us up at night, feeling small, stressed, not enough, afraid of failure.
Parts of me led much of my life through the lens of the perfection believing this was the best way to live and do life. I did not know there was another option. As destructive as all-or-nothing thinking is, it also provides a container of control and purpose to protect while giving the illusion this approach to life is sustainable.
Until it isn’t.
Thanks to the perspective of Internal Family Systems, I now know perfection is a fierce protector. Its intentions are positive though the actions it encourages are very problematic.
The perfection protector tells us to:
- numb out
- focus on the results
- connect your worthiness to the opinions to others.
- do not try at all and stay small because it will not be good enough
- failure is not an option.
Perfection thinks it is the ultimate safety armor. And yet it also ends up wreaking havoc on faith, health, confidence, courage and creativity because the anxiety of perfection fuels both over functioning and under-functioning.
Perfectionism is often behind:
- missed social events + work
- loss of sleep
- physical symptoms (GI distress, panic attacks, appetite confusion)
- racing thoughts
- people pleasing and worries of letting people down
- dread of being misunderstood
- procrastination and missed deadlines
- constant feelings of failure and unworthiness
- panic and perseveration
- overwhelm + obsessions
- competition + comparison
- fears of being found out as a fraud
- looking outside yourself for validation on who you are and what is “ok”
There is great cost to living a life led by perfectionism. It is related to loss of revenue and professional opportunities, scarcity mindset, relationship difficulties, physical and emotional health problems all while crushing confidence, faith, and clarity.
A life led by perfectionism costs us our sense of what it truly means to feel worthy and know who we are - regardless of what we do or what others think.
Gifts of Imperfection has shifted so much for so many by supporting brave and honest conversations about perfectionism and worthiness. It has been powerful for me and many I know to have conversations around this topic where we relate, feel understood, and have actionable ways to shift how we show up in the world.
This new insight and awareness around perfectionism has left some feeling stuck in the in-between of understanding perfectionism and figuring out how to respond to it.
So what are we to do?
First, understanding behind perfection is shame, anxiety and fear. There is nothing pretty about these emotions and the impact they have on our lives and the world around us. But the pain needs to be unburdened - not stuffed, minimized or camouflaged or they will keep hijacked what you desire most: connection, confidence and safe community.
The Perfection protector is deeply dedicated to chasing away feelings of shame, inadequacy, and the fear of being misunderstood.
In truth, perfection is not about excellence, constructive competition or a trait to be admired.
Instead, perfection keeps you living life small and feeling exhausted and frustrated.
(re) Define Perfection will help you get clear on the dangers of a life lived striving for perfection along with how to implement daily life practices to help build the resilience and courage needed to show up in life with both boundaries and an open heart.
If you say to yourself:
- Why am I still struggling with____? You should have had things figured out by now…
- No one can ever see me struggle.
- Why try? It will not be good enough no matter what.
- Everyone else has it all together but me…
- I am obsessed with eating healthy - food is good or bad and my body is the enemy.
- I can’t stop counting calories. If I do, I will lose control and not be desired.
- I have to keep it all together. I can’t struggle or everything will fall apart - including me.
- It is so exhausting wondering how everyone else thinks about mw, my work, my unique opinions
…. then perfectionism is still trying to protect you the best way it knows how.
And at the heart of these emotions lies difficult life experiences, deep disappointments, betrayal, rejection, loneliness, confusion.
If you try and fix perfectionism without digging deeper and doing the work to heal the root of the pain, you will only get temporary relief. And this work is not easy. But it can be so fruitful. It never ceases to amaze me what we learn about ourselves because we have dared to trust the help of trusted support.
We can’t think ourselves through the pain - we have to feel our way through it. Perfection says fix it now and be done. Wisdom says this is a lifelong process that takes practice to navigate.
My excitement about doing the work to (re) define perfection is in part selfish as I am doing this work continually myself. Showing up in a brave community is a powerful space to continue to rumble with perfection and (re) define its role in your life.
During our six weeks together you will receive:
- a workbook mailed to you to customize during your (re) Define Perfection online experience
- a weekly video - also in audio format and transcribed - from Rebecca introducing the two guideposts you are focusing on each week along with a brief lesson and creative action plans for the week along with a brief lesson, an IFS Integration prompt and creative action plans for the week
- a private facebook group to post questions, reflections, and share - if you feel comfortable - your weekly assignments
- a midweek motivational email to help you rumble with the perfection usual suspects: procrastination, self-doubt, rigidity, and comparison
- a live 60 minute weekly Q&A call on Fridays at 12PM PT which will be recorded for those who cannot make it live. Question can be submited in advance.
- insights from other likeminded individuals who rumble with the same perfectionism struggles
- presents and other fun self-care gifts
If you have seasons in life when you:
- are running in empty and tired of feeling exhausted trying to make everyone happy
- hate disappointing people and hate saying no
- get overwhelmed with worrying what other people think - especially when you are trying to make a pivot, a switch, a change in your life
- can be really hard and unforgiving towards yourself when you make mistakes
- where it is hard to be flexible
- overthink and worry about not being enough, doing enough or think there will not be enough
- have a hard time trusting yourself and your instincts
- have a hard time respect rest and play as an essential part of work
- rumble with anxiety and have a hard time sitting still
- have a long lists of should's and have-to’s that stress you out
… then (re) Define Perfection is for you.
After attending this online experience, you will:
- feel more connected to what matters most
- have clarity on what to do when perfectionism shows up
- feel more calm and clear when scarcity and fear come knocking
- be more compassionate to your self and others when the inner critics get loud
- look at failure as something normal to work into daily life instead of fear
- less bound to rigidity, shame, and people-pleasing
- have more clarity on what matters most to you and use that as a guide when things get hard
- be really clear on who opinion matter along with the power of a dance party. :-)
Utilizing Brené Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection and integrating the principles of Internal Family Systems – you will walk away with specific practices you can gently start to incorporate into your life. These practices will help you enjoy life, finish projects and quiet the noise between your ears. All you need is 90-120 minutes a week.
If the struggle of perfectionism resonates with you, I encourage you to consider joining us for this five week online experience: (re) Define Perfection: Choosing Flexibility Over Rigidity.
You’ll learn how to implement daily life practices to help build the resilience and courage needed to show up in life with both boundaries and an open heart.
About your host and workshop facilitator:
Rebecca Ching, LMFT Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator + Consultant and Certified Internal Family Systems Therapist is the founder and owner of Potentia Family Therapy, Inc. and Rebecca Ching Leadership Coaching + Consulting. Rebecca is an early adoptor of Brené’s research and has been offering workshops based on her research for the last 8 years. Over the last 6 years, she has also been a part of the certification team for those seeking certification in The Daring Way™. Rebecca has spoken at The Daring Way™’s Courage Camp - a conference for Certified DaringWay™ Facilitators and the IFS Institute’s International Conference. She is a proud Minnesota native married to her SoCal husband of 15 years and is a mom to their two kids, Hazel and Holdan.
About Brené Brown:
Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent more than a decade studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity and shame. She spent the first five years of her decade-long study focusing on shame and empathy, and is now using that work to explore a concept that she calls Wholeheartedness.
About The Daring Way™
The Daring Way™ is an empirically based training and certification program for helping professionals, based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown. The work focuses on courage building, shame resilience, and uncovering the power of vulnerability.
The methodology is designed for work with individuals, couples, families, and groups. We are very excited to be one of the few who are certified to offer this type of workshop to our community!
About Internal Family Systems℠
The Internal Family Systems Model (IFS) has evolved over the past twenty years into a comprehensive approach that includes guidelines for working with individuals, couples, and families. The IFS Model represents a new synthesis of two already-existing paradigms: systems thinking and the multiplicity of the mind. It brings concepts and methods from the structural, strategic, narrative, and Bowenian schools of family therapy to the world of subpersonalities.