Enhancing Vulnerability To Master Perfectionism

By: Kate Hufstetler

One of the ways a person must advance past perfectionism is to deal with and gradually become more and more vulnerable. Every good perfectionist knows that this is VERY scary.

• Vulnerability involves allowing oneself to be open to feedback—both positive and negative from others.

• Vulnerability also involves the real risk that a perfectionist will have to experience moments of fragility, weakness, and pain.

• Vulnerability means risking feeling trapped in a situation—either by circumstance, or emotion, or mental blocks.

• Vulnerability takes one through the unknown waters of life on life’s terms.

• With vulnerability, one is able to look backwards and glean all the lessons, compile their history, learn and become a much stronger individual!!

• Yet being vulnerable, even with one trusted ally, allows the former perfectionist to slowly evolve: to slowly see themselves, their life, their history… and to be ok.

Some suggestions:

* First you will need to enlist the help of at least one outside person for accurate feedback. This can be a trusted friend, a pastor, chaplain, sponsor, or coach. You are to seek out someone that you can develop closeness to, someone that you feel safe with: someone that will verifiably love and support you while you take these risks in opening up.

* Second, take one significant area of your life and open up yourself to this person. Choose an area where you know you struggle with other peoples perceptions of how you look in that area. Begin to share about a current or former situation. Share your joys, share your struggles, share your doubts. Ask questions. Listen to feedback. Be willing to accept insight, help, and accurate views about yourself. And take note of how this response in no way negates their high opinion of you already. To the other person—you will begin to become a real person, someone human and able to be related to.

* Lastly, begin to slowly extend this new adventure of trust to other people around you. It is important that in the beginning you become vulnerable to trustworthy people. If you open up to someone you respect and value. Inappropriate people will always give you feedback that you discount. Your goal is to realize you don’t have to be superhuman to be loved, accepted, and fit in. So choose wisely.

Until next time-- all the best,

Kate

Self Improvement and Motivation
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