How to (Lovingly) Deal With your Inner Perfectionist

A note to my fellow perfectionists-in-recovery: You don’t have to struggle with your inner-perfectionist! You just need to give her a better job. The urge to plan & perfect is not ‘bad’ or wrong. It’s natural to want to predict & control — it’s hardwired into us to keep us safe.

My inner-perfectionist is always scanning for things that could go wrong, and trying to formulate the perfect plan that will protect me from any & all bullshit. But we do not have ultimate control over our circumstances, and sometimes life throws a big pile o’ shit at our perfect plan.

And I don’t know about you, but I don’t really find comfort in ‘just letting go of the reigns’ or telling myself “whatever happens happens”. I find it much more helpful to give my inner-perfectionist a job that suits her skills — I have her plan for when everything goes to shit.

I think about practical needs, like housing & food & rest. But I also think about how I’ll take care of myself emotionally, and make a list of who I can rely on for help. I do this for anything that I might be worried about, big or small. It reminds me that I can get through anything, which gives me peace. And it makes my inner-perfectionist a valuable part of the team, rather than something to be reigned in or repressed.