Perfectionism In Anxious COVID Times
Have you noticed your inner perfectionist showing up a little more lately with stronger judgements, reactions, and more worry (especially at night)? It’s tough being a human, especially when living through a two-year war on COVID-19. A lot of us are feeling it these days. There is a rise in anxiety and depression in populations around our Globe. Perfectionism can be a major contributor to unhealth and isolation. We just expect a lot from ourselves and others. And this may be a time for more compassion and empathy. Relationship research is showing couples feeling closer than ever or coming apart. The same is true in the workplace with employee increased reactivity and sensitivity. Don’t be swept away. This has been a long and challenging two years… we may need to find some solutions to stay healthy, flexible, and connected to the roots of who we are.
If you are looking for a tool to re-strengthen your confidence, Carl Jung developed a theory of Archetypes. He believed we all have many parts of our personality in our collective unconscious which can work for us to strengthen us and give us confidence… or cause us unnecessary suffering. Flexibility in being able to draw from the many parts of who we are, can give us ease and resilience to get through tough times.
This may be a good time to be aware of how you can be your own best leader of self. We can draw from different parts of our collective unconscious as needed. You might consider those who you admire– family members, celebrities, childhood superheroes, or elite athletes. The people you are drawn to, likely share some of your own qualities and strengths. Research tells us that we connect and are drawn to people who have similar characteristics within our own selves. Our personality parts can be practiced and become a huge resource. When you are in a challenging situation, try to channel one of the people who you admire… they might even become an Archetypes you can use to help you with decision making, problem solving, friendship building or performance enhancing. Next time you go on court, imagine your own Inner Rafael Nadal in your pre-game warm up!
Or, for example, when in a conflict with someone at work, say to yourself “What would the Dali Lama say right now?” or “What would Terry Fox do?”
If balance is what you are needing to negotiate a tough situation and want to be clear but not angry, bring in your own inner Desmond Tutu. You get the idea.
How you handle situations affects group health. As you know, this week celebrates the year of the Tiger with Lunar New Year. This may be a time to be your own best leader and inspire those in your professional and social circles to lead from compassion, kindness, and care. The more supportive you are towards others, the more supportive you will feel towards yourself. That is what heals the perfectionist… having the emotional freedom to just be imperfect. You know you are doing your best. We all are.
It is known in research that we connect with others.. and / or disconnect from others when part of our own personality is illuminated in another. So, the people who you are attracted to, likely have similar positive qualities to your own. Additionally, those who drive you a little crazy at times, also may reflect your own need for growth. In this way, any time you feel conflicted with someone, ask yourself “Is this actually what I do or something I can work on about myself?” Which part of my personality will serve me (and others) best right now?
In our global pandemic, we are all having to constantly adjust and adapt to new and changing safety protocols. It is human nature that when life feels out of our control, our own controlling nature can show up to compensate. You might notice yourself feeling a little more judgemental of yourself and of others. Little things that might usually not phase you, may trip you up in ways that surprise you.
When you feel upset, never say the first thing that comes to mind. Sleep on whatever dilemma has caught your attention and see what wisdom shows up for you in the morning.
Choose compassion first. Kristen Neff has some great free meditations available online. Here is the link to her self compasison resources: https://self-compassion.org/guided-self-compassion-meditations-mp3-2/
The people who make you feel good, are good resources. The better you feel, the more In The Zone your life will be.
Try to see the best in others. Look for other’s strengths. And know that if you are seeing good, your own bright light is shining!
I was out for a run yesterday with Heidi, a friend of mine. And I was sharing with her a childhood memory that my mom used to pop our pajamas in the dryer before bedtime so we could put them on warm. It’s the little things we all remember that make such a difference.
What little ways, might you make someone’s day today?