From Awareness Builder 101: Chapter 7

May 27, 2024

7. Perfectionizm


The saboteurs were not done yet! They felt they were losing the battle around this book being edited or not. They just hate losing! When they lose, change of some form is happening which will make them feel as if they’re sleeping on an ant hill. No, that’s not nice…!

So they had to think of something else and tried several options. Like “who do you think you are that anyone would be inspired by your words”? Sorry guys, after I got over myself when I started leading courses, that one doesn’t land anymore.


Next attempt: “These thoughts are rather personal, do you really want the whole world to see all that”? Hi hi, the whole world you say? If my book would be that successful, I’d be rich in one go! Great! And besides that, I’m far too eccentric to be bothered by that. Then they played their ultimate card: “Alex, English is not your mother tongue. You will make silly mistakes and printed words should be at least correctly written”.

You freaking bastards! Playing the card of perfectionism totally sucks!! I’m using such strong words because I know there is truth in what they say. Mistakes will be made! Not even the best spelling check software will be able to avoid that. Maybe eventually the spelling will be correct, but some things will not always be worded in the best possible way. Hmm, maybe not an editor, but at least a corrector then?


It’s very liberating to embrace not to be perfect. And at the same time I know that in my work I have rather high standards for myself. Of course it’s OK to strive for a really good result, and I know I can overdo that.

It’s the paralysing impact of perfectionism my saboteurs were after.

Perfectionism is a guaranteed path to self-imprisonment. It is the thief of freedom. It’s hijacking satisfaction. It’s the sniper that kills ideas, the tsunami that ruins creativity.


As a facilitator of international courses, I so often tell my students it’s not a language course, as long as we come from a mutual desire to communicate, we’ll be fine! When we do our best, it’ll be good enough. And our best, that’s all we can do.

When we aim for more than our best, we make life impossible. No, that’s not an invitation to go for second best. Then we underperform and won’t respect our talents.

In the battle against perfectionism, I hold on to a quote on a poster we have in our house; “Strive for excellence, not for perfectionism”. Of course, give it your best shot, aim high! Embrace your full potential and at the same time relax into it. Don’t torture yourself expecting the impossible which means you’re constantly disqualifying yourself. Always saying “what I did wasn’t perfect, not good enough” will soon evolve into “I’m not good enough”. And that is an absolute lie!

After giving it all you’ve got, embrace the result as your best and release it into the world. Declare it ready. After giving it your utmost and declaring it ‘good enough’ implies declaring yourself good enough.

And with that you free yourself from perfectionizm.



Journaling questions for this chapter:


How am I allowing my perfectonizm to steal away my freedom?


What is the illusion I’m making up how this is serving me?


What choices must I make to break free from my Saboteurs?



© 2024. Alex Verlek, Coaching Works International.


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