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ATTENTION! Calling all perfectionists! HAVE A MAGICAL WEEK - Vol. 40

Hi there!

I hope you are all doing great and surviving these cold and frosty days ❄. Even though this is my least favourite time of year, and I would much rather be soaking up the rays somewhere, there are so many beautiful things to be grateful for – the rainbow on the school run this morning; the glittery pavements on my run; the beeeautiful sunrises and sunsets; a reason to wear my big, fluffy dressing gown over my clothes! (My husband hates it when I do that, but I have an excuse now, that I’m trying to save money by not putting the heating on!) 🔥🌡

I have had the most wonderful weekend doing what I LOVE – drawing and painting 🎨. A couple of newsletters ago I said that I’d realised over Christmas how much I needed to make this to part of my life. It is the thing that helps me to switch off, be present and give my brain the break it needs. So, I took action and booked myself on a watercolour painting workshop. I’ve never actually been taught how to paint, I’ve just made it up as I’ve gone along so I thought I would learn how to do it properly and feel like I had a bit more control over where the paints ended up and the end result. 🤦‍♀️

I didn’t realise until this weekend just how scared I am of letting go of control! 😬 The artist leading the workshop has a very loose watercolour style which I was desperate to learn so that I could do paintings that were quick and effective, compared to the realistic ones I’d been used to doing which took hours and hours.

As we covered our drawing in water ready to be let loose with the paint, I felt an uncomfortable rush inside me. My head and my body wanted to do two completely things. My head wanted me to be free, make mistakes, slap it on and see what happened. My body felt frozen, scared to let go, worried that I might get it ‘wrong’, worried mine wouldn’t be as good as everyone else’s. It was so frustrating! Everything I have worked on for the last 13 years, came flooding back in that moment! 😤

The artist was brilliant and talked me through the importance of mindset and just being confident to go for it. I don’t think she could quite believe it when I told her I was a Confidence and Mindset Coach and I empower others to do exactly this! I wholeheartedly agreed with every word she said but my body had other ideas! Somewhere in my past I have learnt that I need to get things right, to be perfect, to avoid pain/embarrassment/humiliation. I have learnt that when I do this I am in control. Through my own therapy over the years, I now know where this comes from. I’ve learnt to process this in my head and make sense of it but I’m discovering more and more that there is still work to do on releasing this from my body.

We have all picked up unhelpful programming from our pasts. We have ALL experienced trauma to some degree. Trauma doesn’t need to be a big traumatic experience like being involved in a massive car accident or being abused. These are big ‘T’ traumas. Trauma can be growing up in an environment where there was a lot of conflict; relocating and moving to a new school; parents separating or growing up in a household where you felt unseen. These are small ‘t’ traumas. The emotions we felt then become locked in our bodies and even though we may have processed them consciously, unconsciously our mind and body are still reacting, trying to prevent us from feeling like this again. So, we develop coping mechanisms like shutting down our emotions, becoming a people pleaser, working super hard, trying to control everything.

I’ll talk more in my next newsletter about trauma but today I wanted to give all you perfectionists out there some tips on how to begin letting go of control…

🌈Identify and write down any areas where you try to be ‘perfect’. It could be that you HAVE to have all your tins facing the right way in your cupboard or when you put petrol in your car, it has to be dead on £20 or £30 and not a penny over.

🌈Next, I want you to consciously go against the grain and do the opposite of what you normally do. You may want to start small so even if it’s just turning one tin around or giving the petrol pump an extra little squeeze or deliberately leaving a jaggedy edge when cutting something out.

🌈Eradicate the words ‘mistake’ and ‘failure’ from your vocabulary! There is no such thing, there’s only learning opportunities.

🌈When things don’t go exactly to plan, speak to yourself in the way you would your child or your best friend. Be compassionate with yourself. Remind yourself that you’re just a human, that you’ve tried your best, that it’s OK.

🌈Set yourself a time limit. When we want to get things just right, we can procrastinate and put tasks off so that we can’t ‘fail’ or we go over and over them to check for mistakes. Set yourself a limit and know when enough is enough. Submit that essay, hang that piece of art that you could spend another 5 hours tweaking. Know when to stop.

🌈Happiness doesn’t come from achieving the goals and outcomes we set ourselves. It comes from the process of working towards them. Enjoy the process and the refocus on the meaning of why you are doing it. The destination will be beautiful but not as beautiful as the journey you took to get there.

🌈Accept that you are just learning. You will never stop learning. There is no such thing as perfect because what is perfect to you may not be for someone else. Remember that your best is GOOD ENOUGH.

As you go into this fresh, squeaky clean week of possibilities, know that you’re perfect just as you are. Stop putting so much pressure on yourself.

Be wild - Be Free - Be You!

Have a magical week, you beautiful people 🌈💜🎉

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