Aspire Magazine: Inspiration for a Woman's Soul.(TM) Oct/Nov 2018 Aspire Mag Full Issue - Page 23

M To compound these overwhelming expectations, we also believe that we should be able to do it all perfectly. Since these unrealistic goals can never truly be met, we inevitably end up feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and filled with an unsettling sense that there is something wrong with us. We may look around and think everyone else has life figured out and that we are the only ones who do not measure up. The problem with comparing ourselves to others while trying to meet this unattainable ideal is that it feeds our sense of not being good enough and further erodes our self- confidence and self-worth. Ironically, this sense of not feeling good enough can further motivate us to strive to be perfect. We may even believe that if we could just be the “perfect” daughter, mother, wife, friend, student, employee then we would be appreciated, valued, and even celebrated. The problem with buying into the myth of perfectionism, is that it is not realistic or sustainable. Instead of feeling good about all we do, we end up judging and criticizing ourselves for falling short. The more we believe we need to be perfect, the more unrealistic our expectations of ourselves become, as does the amount of energy we need to fulfill these expectations. Perfectionism feeds a scarcity mindset and undermines our ability to receive blessings and see the infinite possibilities available to us. any of us have been sold a myth that we unconsciously aspire to—that we can do and have it all. As a result, we often wear our superwomen capes with pride and derive much of our value and worth caring for everyone in our lives, leaving little time to nurture ourselves. No wonder why so many of us end up feeling overwhelmed and exhausted! And no wonder why so many of us walk around with inner critics who are harsh, judgmental, and provide us a litany of evidence that we are not living up to our standards. It truly is an impossible situation. Whether you believe the myth that you should be perfect or your high expectations of yourself are fed by the belief that you should have it all, do it all, and be everything to everyone, unrealistic expectations are anything but self-nurturing. And as Anne Wilson Schaef reminds us, “Perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order.” Not only is perfectionism self-abuse, but it undermines the important work of becoming ourselves and limits our 23