Standards, Self-Worth and Perfectionism

I keep my standards high because I am worth it”

This affirmation really stuck with me. It made me think of my struggles with perfectionism over my life span and made me wonder if I can let go of other people’s expectations and actually just follow my own. The real trouble is that the voices of others remain in my head. I have trouble discerning where their ideals end and where mine begin. Setting my own standards and ideations seems out of my control because there are so many parts of me that seem to be controlled by the voices I’ve heard over the course of my life.

How does one go about changing their views on their own standards, worth and perfectionism? Having just finished Adam Grant’s Think Again, I have to acknowledge that there are likely more than a few ways to do this and that how I explain my best way, may not be right for everyone. There is room for discussion and argument that I would love to see offered in the comments!

My ideas? Personally, I have to start with my self-worth. If I can redefine this for myself, I believe my standards can remain high without blindly searching for perfection. The concept of my worth was taken by a traumatic incident when I was very young. It left me feeling worthless which was compounded by my sensitive nature as a youth. I took things personally and blamed myself for things that I had no control over. Unworthiness still haunts me but I am beginning to deal with the past through therapy and, in particular and more recently, Parts work. It is changing my life. I’m feeling stronger than I ever have and truly believe that my lost parts can be healed through this important journey. When I first began this work, I actually questioned whether I was worth the trouble. I came to the conclusion that I was and this realization was the beginning of my drive towards a higher sense of self-worth.

When I came across this affirmation, I had already begun my IFS (Internal Family Systems) repairing of my psyche and I realized that if I could grasp the parts that struggle with self-worth that I could change my perfectionist attitude and embrace more reasonable, yet high, standards for myself. This is where I am right now: in the process of recovering my affected parts and comforting them in a way that will unburden them from the grasp of unworthiness and set them free! It is a scary, yet exciting, adventure…I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in this type of work. I can let go of my pursuit of perfection and lack of self-worth that have consumed my life and seize the opportunity to make standards that are more reasonable, while still high…

“I am setting new standards for how I want to treat myself”

peace balance empathy

For more information on IFS therapy, please follow the link near the top of my blogging page.

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