So many of us struggle with perfectionism. I see it all the time in my practice and I have definitely struggled with it in my own life. We all know that being perfect is not possible, but when we don’t do something “perfectly” we beat ourselves up relentlessly. We go into this negative self-talk spiral of “I am not good enough”, which is one of the negative beliefs that almost everyone struggles with. I have heard children as young as 5 and adults as young as 70 struggle with this.
Do you relate? Do you have children who struggle with this? Maybe you struggle with this yourself. When people come to my office with difficulty with perfection, I often ask questions.
“What would you do if you were good enough?”
“How would you feel if you were good enough?”
“What would be different in your life?”
If you struggle with perfectionism in any way, take some time to think about how you would answer these questions. If you are like many people, you may be so stuck in not feeling like you are enough that you can’t even image what life would be like if you were. When I ask people these questions I often get really cool answers about all the things that the person REALLY wants to do. There isn’t action taken to do these things because the person is scared they will fail or don’t deserve it. Believing we are not enough is often a source of worry, anxiety, and depression. It stops us from fully living. Does thinking you are not enough stop you?
If you feel that you struggle with feelings of not being good enough and those feelings are holding you back then you need to change this internal dialogue. Try to catch yourself when you are giving yourself this negative message and see if you can’t shift it a little. That is what cognitive behavioral therapy is all about. First you become aware of your thoughts and then you try to shift them. This process takes practice and time. It can take a long time for people to own not being enough. It will take more than a week to undo this negative belief.
For many people this is difficult to do without the help of a therapist. If you need help with this, of course you can work with a therapist to assist you through the process.
Written By Dr. Steffanie Stecker
Dr. Steffanie Stecker a licensed psychologist and the owner and clinical director of Mountain Vista Psychology, PLLC.
In addition, she is a board certified neurotherapist (BCN E5669) and board certified in QEEG (QEEG-D). Less than 100 people world wide are board certified in QEEG, which indicates competency in reading QEEGs and choosing neurofeedback protocols. Dr. Stecker is passionate about brain based effective therapy and creating a safe relationship for her clients to create change. She loves what she gets to do each day!