One thing you’re not aware of when you have excessively high standards and, as a result, are pulling down your self-esteem is that you’re not distinguishing between not good enough, good enough, and perfect, hence why you rarely register your progress.

When you are on some level expecting perfection, which is what everyone who thinks they’re “not good enough” is seeking, the goalposts for what’s ‘good enough’ keep moving. Otherwise, you would accept that you entered this world and have always been ‘good enough’, it’s just that the story you’ve told yourself along the way and various experiences have given you a conditional view of yourself. 

Perfectionism is a form of people pleasing. It’s based on this idea that if you just make enough effort and always strive to be the best or try the hardest that you will finally be enough and also make others happy. You’re essentially trying to control the uncontrollable with your efforts. This habit is a manifestation of the wound of feeling unworthy and trying to protect and advance yourself.

If you weren’t seeking perfection, you’d accept that you’re more than good enough and focus on being human and evolving. 

Sure, there are things you do or make that you can seek to improve upon. Even then, at some point, you have to leave something be and stop tweaking, otherwise you get stuck. You do the best that you can, for instance, with a project at work, and learn things along the way that you then apply into future pieces of work. You don’t perfect the project until the end of time. You’ve got to put it out there. 

Perfectionism stops you from showing up. 

Perfectionists question what they do even when they meet their own standards. The goalposts move and now what was supposed to be “good enough” isn’t.

You can be here now. You don’t need to be perfect before you can breathe out and be yourself.

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