Telling a perfectionist not to plan is like asking a skydiver to jump out of a plane without a parachute….
Can you relate? As a recovering perfectionist I remember a time when I would over plan EVERYTHING! Without a plan I felt naked and unprepared because without a plan all I had was…well me…and that frankly scared the s$!& out of me!
Planning has always been a catch 22. I would procrastinate on planning since I knew the process was long and complicated (only because I made it that way). I’d wait until the night before in all my perfectionist genius and just stay up all night (click here to mend your relationship with planning).
I realized something profound recently. I had a meeting and only allowed myself an hour to plan to prevent over planning. And it wasn’t a big deal. I didn’t break out in a cold sweat and wasn’t freaking out.
It dawned on me – I’ve stopped overcompensating by over planning. Why? Because I am finally enough for me…
My confidence no longer comes from what I can do but who I am. Who I am has a controlling majority in my head and heart.
How did I get here? I don’t have a 3 step solution for you because you and life are both more complex than that. What I can offer are the changes I saw in myself and the catalyst for these changes.
Your Foundation: A life built on your circumstances is like building your life on sand. Your circumstances shift, they change and you have little control over many things in your life EXCEPT how you respond. Take a good look at your foundation – is it built on what others think you can do, your roles, your titles? What happens when a role goes away or you lose a job or you wind up in a situation you had not planned for? My aha moment was when I learned to let who I am as a person become my center but to do that I had to rebuild my mindset based on who I am. I am a child of God created in His image. No amount of planning or lack there of will ever change that fact.
Erasing Lies: My background is in engineering. This is anindustry where typically what you know is equal to your worth and value. So for years my roles, titles and achievements defined me. If I didn’t measure up to my own expectations I felt worthless. I felt shame. I did not ask for help because that showed others I was weak – and it was bad enough that I was the youngest and only female manager. I have had to undo so many of these lies crafted in my own head. The catalyst for this change was when I began to tell myself that I was loved and valued no matter what happened each day – until I believed it.
Busyness:I have struggled with social anxiety throughout my life. In ordered to survive I required a drink, a role or a responsibility when at a group function so I didn’t have to make small. I used busyness for avoidance, I used it as a procrastination tool and I used it to numb and protect myself. Busyness blinded me from the real me until I couldn’t keep up with my own pace of life and had to slow down.
Vulnerability: When you start to dig into why you over plan you see many fears like: what if they see that I am not as good as everyone says? What if they see that I’m a fake? What if they think I don’t know what I’m doing? To live out of a foundation based on who you are is like skydiving without a parachute…expect the lies have kept this truth from you …you’re only a few feet off the ground. Being yourself won’t kill you – and overtime you won’t know any other way to be.
What can you do today to shift your confidence from what you do to who you are?