Posts Tagged ‘self-confidence’

When I heard for the very first time (from a great and experienced coach) that my problem was my perfectionism, I wanted to laugh. How come can this be a problem? It is an amazing QUALITY, not a problematic one.

We were discussing how people who are just starting coaching struggle with lack of self-confidence (which, by the way, I always thought was my biggest roadblock) and other issues. I was asking him for advice, looking for how to solve something that would undermine my future practice.  Of course, what I wanted to know was if he had ever feel the same and if yes, what he did to become a successful life coach. So he told me that he had to get rid of his perfectionism, which left me so surprised that I couldn’t reply.

I had thought of at least thousands of reasons that were making me feel so unconfident concerning my future as a coach. As I mentioned before- my favourite  was the lack of self-confidence. Then:  being less talented than others;  not being native; being lazy, etc. Qualities such as ambition (which, if in moderated quantity, is something positive) and perfectionism weren’t on my list.

The society perceives being a perfectionist as something positive and admirable.  It doesn’t matter that one is never really happy with the work he has done- as long as he met the deadline, his boss and his colleagues are satisfied and everybody else congratulates him. What about the feelings of the main actor of this play? The same happens with people who fall in anorexia or bulimia, seeking the perfection they will never achieve, seeking the impossible. And there are many other examples, in other contexts, proving that perfectionism is not “healthy” at all.

As a perfectionist, if I have not a clear idea about how to realize a task so I can be happy with what I did, I get to think (often subconsciously) that there is no point to even try to start it- because I will fail. If I don’t do it, I am avoiding the inevitable failure. Of course, I am not stupid and I know  that not doing this task leads to the very same end: I am failing. But at least I don’t get tired, spending a considerable amount of time and strength with something I will not succeed at.

What is helpful for me? To have a coach who enthuses, motivates and is not judgmental (at the contrary of my family and friends). To be aware of my previous successes. To have someone who is truely important to me, so when he or she tells me to get it done “NOW!” (but in a softer way, if not I will resist even more to do whatever needs to be done) I will listen and act. To have a “mirror” person who will switch the negative to positive- but only if he or she really means it. The perspective of starving if I don’t do anything.

Does it make me less perfectionist? Of course not. But not only I get to do some things, realize some activities that bring me pleasure, satisfaction or money, but also understand myself and get a little bit closer to solve this “problem” once for all.


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