Sabotaged by Perfectionism

“You failed. You completely stuffed that up.” The voices in my head chirped like a disorganised choir this week, reminding me that I’m failing at perfection.  And so I do my morning pages and write about it all. It pours from my pen in a bit of a soul vomit.

I write in my journal to those voices that squat in my throat and feel like a growth in my chest. My breathing feels slightly constricted as my pen squiggles across the page. I name the feelings – shame – sadness – disgust. I call them out and let them know that I know what they’re up to. Once revealed they lie like little soldiers on my pages, their intended ambush impeded. They were trying to rally the army, the hoards of voices that have whispered over the years my failures, dark secrets and disrespect for self. Over the years I’m getting better at catching them. It’s a skill that is learned. I recognise earlier the sensations in my body that tell me I’m upset. While it’s never easy to have the experiences, particularly shame, ignoring them is allowing them to sabotage my body and hijack my emotional life. 

I breathe out inadequacy. I breathe in self compassion.

I breathe out shame. I breathe in forgiveness.

I breathe out disgust. I breathe in kindness.

I breathe out perfectionism. I breathe in freedom and authentic living.

And I feel so much better. How about you? What do you need to breathe out? Breathe in?

Rochelle Melville

Rochelle Melville is an art therapist and intentional creative. Rochelle works from Pathways to Expression in Bald Hills facilitating individual and group sessions and is available to facilitate workshops in the community.