How I Recovered From Perfectionism

Would you consider yourself a perfectionist?

I know of many times throughout life where I was struggling with perfectionism and you know what?

It’s been my experience that MANY of us struggle with the “perfectionist” mentality in our day-to-day lives!

Why?

I believe this tendency towards perfectionism is something we’re taught through familial & social programming, upbringing, & conditioning.Perfectionist Scale

And ultimately, what drives it all is a deep seated core fear or avoidance that will sabotage & play out in your life over & over again until you resolve this core fear at a cellular level.

For myself personally, it was my lonely childhood & high-pressure corporate background that taught me how to be my own worst critic. I can recall many times throughout my life where my toxic self-talk & judgment of myself or others over not meeting the high standards I used to set would sabotage my life & set me up for failure.

In a nutshell, it limited my greatness & it wasn’t until I started to heal the underlying core fear associated with perfectionism that it changed!

For many of my clients over the years, I’ve also seen the disintegrated side of perfectionism result in unhealthy behaviors (i.e. obsessive-compulsiveness, work-aholism to get things just “right”, closed-mindedness, hyper-judgmental etc…) that limit their greatness & won’t change until the root core fear is addressed & resolved.

So what does perfectionism really look like?

According to the Enneagram personality system that I’ve used to help clients discover their biggest core fears & behaviors over the past 10 years, perfectionism typically shows up in the following ways:

  • The “Internal critic” experienced as a constant stream of self-critical thoughts.
  • Judgment of self & others from constant comparison to an external standard of right/wrong against which everything is measured.
  • Attached to rules; resentful of any deviation to those rules by others.
  • Having an air of ethical and moral superiority; comes from their own drive for self-improvement.
  • Often perceived as a crusader, self-righteous, “do-gooder”.
  • Task oriented with an extreme preoccupation with work: “I can only play when the work is done and it’s never done”.
  • Detail-oriented, methodical, rigid in one’s thinking.
  • Quest is to be loved unconditionally, but they never attain it, never feel “enough”.
  • Feeling flawed inside, so critical of others in order to equalize – “I’m not good so I’ll focus on doing good things.”
  • Very self-controlled; cut off impulses and go to head to figure things out but are really “gut people masquerading as head people”.
  • Suffers from procrastination due to fear of making a mistake.
  • “Things are perfect when I am met, in all ways, by others.”
  • Tend to be black and white in thinking.

Does any of these apply to YOU??

If the answer is yes, you might be wondering how to recover from perfectionism.

The solution?

To resolve & heal the deep seated core fear or avoidance that drives the behavior & discover the growth path for becoming your very own hero!

According to the Enneagram model, the basic underlying core fear or avoidance that drive the Perfectionist behavior boils down basically to:

A deep-seated fear of being corrupt, evil, bad, or defective.

So you see… the behavior arises from the fear.

In order to be deemed as “good” or “right” by others, perfectionists will be ultra-focused on perfection, detail-oriented to the point of obsession (at times) & judgmental as a result of the high standards they hold for themselves. All to avoid being any of what they fear at a cellular level.

So what’s the growth path to help someone struggling with these fears & compulsions?

According to the Enneagram model, here are just a few ideas for growth:

  • Release judgment & the idea you can judge objectively.
  • Learn to see perfection in the moment, in the imperfection.
  • Reduce the dominance of your critical mind.
  • Get out of your mind and into your heart & gut.
  • Learn more than one “right” way, learn to see all sides (i.e. open-mindedness)
  • Get “messy”; lighten up, play and have fun.
  • Find, acknowledge, & heal your “dark side”.
  • Discover, acknowledge & fulfill your passionate desires.

In addition to incorporating any of the above, it can also be helpful to find a practitioner who can help you resolve at the root level the cellular memory associated with any of the deep-seated core fears that sabotage your life!

My favorite by far is a well-known healing modality known as The Journey Method® which has helped to heal thousands of people around the world & is something I’ve used to help clients break free of self-sabotage & accelerate their results since 2007.

Regardless of which of these options you choose, working WITH your fear (rather than against it) to heal & resolve past trauma is the key!

After all, what you resist, persists. 🙂


Jess Bonasso, otherwise known as The Self Care Goddess, helps busy, high-reaching super heroes struggling to juggle it all break-free of the sabotage that leads to burnout & re-ignite their radiance without sacrificing their soul, sanity, or health!

Are you ready to become your very own hero?

For more information, click HERE to learn about Jess OR HERE to apply for & schedule a COMPLIMENTARY* Discovery Consult!

To receive daily inspiration on how to break free from burnout & re-ignite your radiance, be sure to follow me on social media! 🙂