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Free Yourself: Boldly Unbounded in Perfectionism


Boldly Unbounded in Perfectionism


 

Hello, you Boldly Unbounded Soul ✨


Last week I did a sprint coaching session that I want to share with you. Why? Because it touched on a topic that I see with ambitious, high-performing clients over and over.


Perfectionism, and it might sound like…


For you, “almost perfect” isn’t enough. The first thing you notice are mistakes. You’re motivated by fear to achieve your goals rather than by desire.


Speaking of goals, yours are unrealistically high. You tend to focus on the results rather than the process. And when you don’t meet these incredibly high-reaching goals, you give yourself a hard time and can get stuck in a cycle of negative thoughts and emotions.


And you experience procrastination, defensiveness (because a less-than-perfect performance is so painful and scary), low self-esteem, the need for control, anxiety, and insomnia.


Are you nodding along? Do any of these things resonate with you?


If so, worry not! You’re not alone. Many high-performers experience this, and you can change it.



 


INSIGHTS ON PERFECTIONISM


For all of my Boldly Unbounded Souls out there with perfectionist traits, evolving from a high-performing perfectionist to a high-achiever is a fundamental part of becoming boldly unbounded. And as a fellow “Recovering Perfectionist”—a term I coined many moons ago to make it feel lighter—the journey is one of bold action, beautifully messy moments, and expansive freedom. It starts with three insights…



Deepen Awareness


It’s natural to interpret high-performing perfectionism with high achievement. We live in a society with messaging that says, “You’re not good enough. [Person’s name] is smarter, stronger, wealthier, [fill in the blank] than you. Differentiation between the two—high-performing perfectionism and high achievement—starts to blur.


And so what may have started as high achievement turned into high-performing perfectionism at some point. You subtly internalize it over time and what was once doing becomes being. Your mindset, habits, and beliefs. They drive your actions, leading to the very results you wanted to avoid in the first place.


This is why awareness is so powerful. It helps you recognize the being part. To uncover limiting beliefs, fear lurking in the shadows of your mind, or edges holding you back so you can move back toward high achievement without the perfectionism.



Invite Play


One of the unintended consequences of high-performing perfectionism is taking things too seriously. The focus on results, needing control, or fear of failure can make us lose touch with our inner child. And that inner child—one of fun, insatiable curiosity, and exploration—is incredibly important.


By inviting play into your life and leadership, you have more fun, experience less stress, and strengthen your resilience.



Cultivate Compassion


When was the last time you were hard on yourself (i.e., “I should have known better. Maybe I’m not ____ enough. What’s wrong with you—why didn’t you ____?”)? My guess? Not too long ago if you were nodding your head earlier.


Self-compassion is the base antidote to perfectionist tendencies. It offers you the space to treat yourself with kindness and understanding, like how you would with someone you love. It helps you embrace the innate imperfections we all have as human beings, leading to stronger self-worth, emotional well-being, and vulnerability.



Free daily practices for compassion


 


FROM INSIGHT TO ACTION


Before we go into today’s practice, ask yourself these questions:


  • Would I like to feel more clarity? Imagine coming from a place of choice and desire, not fear. You deliver impact and results by coming from a place of awareness, intention, and abundance, all while staying grounded in connection.

  • Would I like to experience more courage? See yourself making bold decisions, powerfully communicating results and influencing others, taking up space, and leading with integrity. You're in alignment with your purpose, values, and goals at personal, team, and company levels.

  • Would I like to feel more connected? Close your eyes and envision how you’ll feel when you create space for compassionate connection—rooted in feminine energy—to bring out the best in you, your life, and your team.



The APC (Awareness, Play, Compassion) Practice


If you said, “Hell yes, I would!” this simple practice is going to change your life. Ready?


Follow these steps:

  • Bring to mind a recent situation where you felt not good enough like you had failed, you procrastinated a lot, needed control, or had unrelenting anxiety or worry.

  • Close your eyes (if you feel comfortable), and bring your focus to the body. Notice any physical sensations that arise. Where are they in the body? What do they feel like? A heaviness? Or tightness? Something else? Sit with these sensations for a moment. No need to change them, just observe them.

  • Now, if this sensation were a tangible object. What would it be? What form would it take? What would it look like? The size? Color? Texture? Smell?

  • If this object could speak to you, what would it say? Is it really true? What evidence is there? What evidence contradicts what that object said? For example, if you felt like a recent initiative wasn’t successful enough and you’re a failure, what is one accomplishment you’re extremely proud of? Write down that accomplishment or say it aloud. Bring your focus to the body. Notice any new physical sensations that are arising. Where are they in the body? What do they feel like? A lightness? Or brightness? Something else?

  • Now, let’s pretend this object is a friend of yours. What would their name be? Does it make you laugh? If not, find a name that makes you laugh, and maybe even love your object a little. (Mine is Dwight from the American office).

  • Now, go back to what your old friend said to you. How can you see the situation differently? Rather than it being [whatever your new friend told you], is it merely a message that you care deeply? Find the positive in the situation (hint, hint it’s probably one of your strengths).

  • To close the practice, gently remind yourself that you’re not alone in this (many others experience it too), that you’re old friend, like Dwight, can be a bit ridiculous 😂, and find the positive side of the situation, your strength. Thank yourself for taking the time to listen to yourself and come back to the space you’re in.



What was that experience like? What is one insight you gained from the practice? How can you use this practice moving forward?


My tip for you: Now you know what it feels like when your friend comes for a visit. The next time it happens, take a few minutes to listen to what they have to say, test the truth, and find the positive side. And remember, have fun with it and be silly with your new friend.


Want to share your experience? Hit reply and let me know!

See you next week ✨


Rachel's sign off





 


P.S. Want to move from high-performing perfection to high achievement? I’ve got 5 questions to ask you that will challenge and provoke your thinking. Would that be interesting to you?



5 powerful questions conversation


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