How Perfectionism Blocks Joy

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In this episode and blog post, Lindsey Simcik opens up about her evolving journey with perfectionism, the work she’s done to release its grip, and how you can free yourself from self-limiting beliefs holding you back.

Perfectionism suffocates our higher selves from floating to the surface. Yet, no matter how many times we’re told to “let go” and flow with life’s unpredictable groove, many of us reach a hard edge from time to time.

In this post you’ll learn:

  • What is perfectionism?
  • Common perfectionist tendencies
  • How perfectionism can manifest into seeking validation
  • Why over-functioning is actually hurtful to our being
  • The root of needing to be in control
  • How procrastination relates to perfectionism

It’s Linds here! I want to share with you my journey with perfectionism and how it has been such a block to my joy, success, and connection with myself, as well as others. It’s something I believe we should have a deeper understanding of in order to clearly see who we are at our core and who others are.

If you consider yourself a perfectionist or have perfectionist tendencies, I’m excited to share with you my truth and how perfectionism shows up for me. It’s so interesting to wonder, “Why am I upholding these identities and tendencies and how can I bring in an antidote?”

Perfectionism is a need to be what you think other people or society expect of you. I am someone who feels very comfortable when other people are seen around me. That forces me to not say how I am feeling, not express my desires and needs, or not be my fullest self.

I tend to shy away from what could be perceived as messy and that doesn’t give other people the chance to connect with me on a deeper level. I feel like perfectionism is a way to manage people’s experiences of you.

Perfectionist Tendencies

Sometimes perfectionist thinking isn’t as obvious as one might think. I rounded up a list of common tendencies that you may have if you’re a perfectionist or have perfectionist tendencies:

  • All or nothing thinking.
  • Never or rarely are satisfied.
  • Feeling like you have to meet the expectations of others.
  • “Almost perfect” is a failure to you.
  • You are highly critical.
  • Fear motivates you (because you have a fear of it).
  • You have unrealistic standards, which is a reflection of the higher critic within you.
  • You’re focused on the results, rather than the experience.
  • You feel very low when you do not meet your goals.
  • Procrastination to the max.
  • A low self-esteem.

Personally, procrastination is an interesting one for me. I’ll get too wrapped up in how I am doing something and not allow the process to lead the way. I especially feel this way when I am creating my music. I can allow the expectation of the end result to dictate how I am going to experience the process, and it can become really paralyzing.

4 ways perfectionism shows up in Lindsey Simcik’s life

1. Lindsey Simcik on seeking validation

I tend to do what other people expect of me in order to be validated and worthy in their eyes. This is about a past version of me because I have done a lot of work around this.

Also, I let go of a need to be anything and everything to everyone at any moment. The need for validation is not going to be met outside of me. It comes from God/ Source. You are you, enough and whole. 

2. Lindsey Simcik on over-functioning

I will over-function in order to be. For example, I love planning and making a trip as perfect as possible with the cutest Airbnb and dinner plans, so it’s predictable for me and enjoyable for my partner. But it is this over-functioning that severs the connection between me and reality, and me and a fellow person.

When you are over-functioning you’re not attuned to the frequency of others’ experiences, the present moment, or the energy of the moment. When I feel I am over-functioning, I call myself back and remind myself of what is true.

3. Lindsey Simcik on the need to control

The need to control shows up very sneakily for me and is not always obvious. I just have to be mindful that when I am trying to control, there is likely a desire to feel more grounded and safe.

This really showed up for me when I was moving from Los Angeles to Brooklyn. I really wanted to control the way that my new space would look, and I just neglected my partner’s opinion and desires. By doing so, I was robbing us of the journey of “we” and creating a home together.

One way I have been able to overcome my need to control has been through expressing my needs clearly and from the root. 

Almost 30 podcast - Lindsey Simcik

4. Lindsey Simcik on avoidance

I will obsess over something like cleaning or planning a trip. When I do this it’s usually because I am ignoring something that needs to be dealt with. I am numbing out a feeling I don’t want to feel and ignoring a conversation I don’t want to have.

So now when that happens, I ask myself: “Can I just have compassion?” “Can we have a loving detachment with ourselves with awareness?”

When you go into an obsessive mode, procrastinating, getting down on yourself, being highly critical etc., ask yourself, “What is really here?”

Perfectionism is important to notice and identify because it can really prohibit us from knowing ourselves. We become obsessed with what is not Soul-ly important, but if we can look at our tendencies without judgment and practice radical-self honesty, it is possible to overcome.

Listen to the full episode here!

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We're Krista + Lindsey. Co-hosts of the Almost 30 Podcast, entrepreneurs, creatives, community leaders, best friends, wellness-obsessed spiritual seekers, alien lovers...and always ch-ch-ch-changing. We're excited to have you here. If you're enjoying these posts, check out our podcast, our story, and find more education in our shop!

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