Do you Need to be Perfect?
The Hidden Fear of Insufficiency
Many of us want freedom and long to embody our purpose and live our Dream. Yet, we unknowingly resist change, growth and manifestation. This article explores how perfectionism and the hidden fear of insufficiency that prompts it lay a psychic trap that ensnares your greatness.
- Do you feel anxious when someone you consider an expert or “important” makes an observation of something you could improve?
- Do you perceive this or similar observations as criticism?
- Do you break into rapid justification or try to prove that you knew better, do better or are better than that?
- Do you secretly feel at those moments that there’s something deficient or wrong in you or that the other person feels there is and you have to “fix” that?
- Do you begin to intellectualize and do other “one up” games designed to neutralize your perceived disadvantage?
- Do these moments confirm your secret feelings that you are not enough, not ready to be successful or not equipped to launch your dream?
- Do you take what you consider “negative” criticism personally?
- Do you repel compliments with modesty or other such “humility” indicators?
- Do you feel threatened or challenged when someone disagrees with you?
- Do you feel rejected when someone disagrees with your advice or passes up your offer to help?
The Fear of Criticism
With so many coaches out there, why do so many people pass on the opportunity to be supported in their needs for success, manifestation or growth?
While money is the most frequent alleged answer, I suspect that the most popular one is the fear of criticism. This is a massively spread fear. You have only to look at how most people respond to what they perceive as criticism to realize that most of us feel threatened, diminished or challenged when someone points to an error or observes that something we did could be improved.
Seeking help, coaching or guidance requires that you bare yourself to an expert and share your shortcomings. It’s the only way that the person can help you. That makes you extremely vulnerable.
Once you become that vulnerable, the coach, teacher, mentor or counselor proceeds to help you address the situation by helping you perceive it in different terms and to spot solutions you have not considered.
The problem here is that many of us interpret this as a criticism. Why would you confuse the attempt at helping you see things differently or try different things with being criticized? The core reason for this confusion is that you suffer from a secret feeling of being insufficient.
This feeling of insufficiency pulls you into an Emotional Undertow. This emotional whirlwind adds each new instance to an old emotional quagmire where you carry old wounds. This mushy, draining undertow constantly brings you down and away from the shore of your dreams and goals. In other words, you are secretly and constantly doing to yourself what you project the other to be doing (criticism).
Once you project that the other person is trying to fix you because you are deficient, broken or insufficient, you then go into full defensive mode.
Your Defense is your Offense
Your defense is meant as an emotional defense against the hidden feeling of insufficiency. That’s your true enemy. Once you project that enemy on to another, they become the culprits and you must defend yourself against them.
The problem is that they are not criticizing you and they often do not have any of the goals you have in mind. By proceeding to defend yourself against their criticism, you are in fact, in the offense, not the defense. You are repelling allies, change, friends, truth, growth, opportunities and old good advice. Is it a wonder that you cannot break through the place where you are stuck?
Before responding defensibly to criticism, consider the following about the other person:
- They are NOT trying to fix you because they do not see you as broken. You do.
- They are interested enough in you and consider that you are worthy enough that they are offering some bits of advice, tips or help.
- They are sharing their hard-earn knowledge and expertise with you; investing in your success.
- They may be the messenger through which The Divine is answering your prayers.
- They may be exploring your mindset because they have some opportunity in mind for you (one that you just blew with your defensiveness).
- They may be providing you with just the precise shift of perception that you need for the change you need in order to move towards your goal or purpose.
So why do you begin to raise a barrage of defenses; from excuses to one-up-manship? Why can’t you simply hear these comments graciously, say thanks and then take what is good for you and release the rest? That does not seem so difficult. Why take offense? Why feel less or threatened?
The Secret Need to be Perfect
I propose to you that the true reason for your defensive reaction is that you believe that you need to be perfect in order to be accepted.
This is the secret False Belief that is plaguing you. If you are not enough as you are; if you do not love yourself unconditionally, without judgment, and accept yourself as you are right now, with limitations and all; then you judge that everybody else cannot accept you either.
This leads to a need to be perfect. If you are insufficient, then you are going to work hard to be sufficient. The problem is that you are NOT insufficient. You FEEL insufficient. Therefore, you are going to work harder and harder; but nothing you do, no matter how hard, good and perfect, will FEEL enough. You are now caught in the Wheel of Struggle, Strive and Insufficiency.
The stub of that wheel is the need to be perfect in order to finally be accepted and any observation that makes you FEEL insufficient activates that wheel. You must compulsively struggle to prove that you are enough.
Stop Projecting. Start Accepting.
My suggestion in order to stop that Wheel of Struggle, Strive and Insufficiency is to simply to stop.
The minute you even perceive that someone is criticizing you, do the following:
- Tell your mind that this is NOT a criticism, but a message from The Divine in answer to your prayers.
- Tell your attention to stay open and receptive, because there’s an opportunity approaching.
- Tell your heart that this person is interested in you and has open her or his heart to share their perception and knowledge with you, and that this may be the change you need in order to move ahead.
- Tell your defenses to relax and that listening is not conceding. If this does not prove useful, you have the power to release it because you are in command of your choices.
With this four instructions, proceed to listen with an open mind and heart, paying careful attention to the opportunities and tips that The Divine is sending you. Express your gratitude without defending yourself.
The truth is that you do not need fixing, defending or proving yourself. You are already perfect, like a beautiful diamond.
The more you appreciate your radiance and the perfection in your imperfections, the more you will see these moments for what they are:
The rubbing that polishes the Gem of your Sacred Self to a higher radiance.
Take these words into your heart:
Know that you will only be able to step into your greatness when you throw that chip in your shoulder away and love yourself just as you are while opening your mind and heart to receive help.
Light and Love,
The Dream Alchemist
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