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Confessions of a former People Pleaser: Perfection Paralysis

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Punishment is the problem.

That was my thought the moment I saw the definition of discipline. The TOP response is:

noun: discipline

  1. 1.the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience. “a lack of proper parental and school discipline”

When I plan content for blogs and reels, I go into the Akashic Records and Collective Timelines to pull up different energy patterns to help guide and inspire me for each week. This week, the challenge energy was Imperfection, the revelation needed is Teachable, and the lesson is discipline.

I already KNEW that I was going to write about perfection paralysis as a people pleaser for this week, but as I sat down to write this, I felt the need to look up the definition of discipline in order to capture the full story of what this energy theme is trying to help us heal. The results were not what I expected. I was thinking about the discipline it takes to create a new habit, master a new skill— you know, persistent effort to continue going and be consistent with your attempts. Turns out that the origins of the word and the use of it often imply learning through punishment, and if that didn’t strike an AHA! moment within my mind. Punishment is the problem, isn’t it?

(P.s. make sure you follow me on TikTok or Meta to see the video of my rabbit hole journey as I dove into the meaning more).

Confessions of a former People Pleaser: Perfection Paralysis

As a people pleaser, we want to get it right the first time to avoid disappointing our teacher and receive praise. We feel like we have to get it right the first time, or else. I can’t tell you how many times I heard the words, “Do it right the first time or not at all” growing up— and the “not at all” was more of a warning of what would happen than it was an option to choose.

How are we supposed to realize that we are teachable if we are constantly punished for not mastering something right away?! I don’t know about you, but that is NOT the way to help me learn anything, I would take it personally and start getting down on myself.

It’s no wonder I suffer from perfection paralysis.

Let me tell you— I am one of those that would spend HOURS hyper focusing on the alignment of lines and boxes on a PowerPoint Slide. I would fix it in creation mode, then put it in presentation mode and adjust it again until it was perfectly seamless. If a project involved a ton of detailed work, I would go into avoidance and try to ignore it as long as I could.

Perfection paralysis is the result of punishing people for not immediately excelling at something, especially if they are a people pleaser. Let’s be honest, most things in life we will NEVER be immediate masters at, even as babies we had to learn from our mistakes in order to master walking. But do we yell and punish the babies when they stumble? NO! Of course not! So at what point did we decide to use punishment as a motivator to learn?

With that being said, I will no longer be using the word discipline in the context of leaning a new skill, I think I’ll use persistent or consistent instead because we are all teachable if we are willing to listen, learn, and try.

If you are working to kick those old habits and create new ones that are more supportive for you (like saying No and holding boundaries ????) then I’m your girl! Message me and ask about how my Karmic Coaching Program can support you in creating a life you love and how you can kick the perfection paralysis and people pleasing for good!

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