Posts Tagged ‘anxiety’

From Perfectionism to Success

July 18th, 2018

Beauty is mostly imperfection

A few weeks ago, I went to a meeting where some local women professionals discussed perfectionism and how it affects our lives at work and at home.  Some of us were affected at work, others at home, some both.  Some of us also had perfectionist partners and we talked about how that hurt our relationships and our family life.

It was a great evening of sharing, mostly because we didn’t stop at the negative, but looked for solutions.

Here were some of the solutions we came up with:

  • Set priorities and stick to them, when I’m going “off track”, remind myself of them
  • Ask myself, “What is good enough?”
  • Ask myself, “Who am I trying to please”- because I can only please myself, in reality
  • Remember I am the master of my heart
  • Give myself a pat on the back when I succeed
  • Watch my (negative) self-talk
  • Write it down, be concrete about what I am thinking and feeling
  • Give myself space
    • To be creative
    • To meditate and be mindful
    • To take care of myself to walk my dog

Perfectionism is crippling and no way to live your life or to work, and it’s rampant  

There are many consequences of perfectionism, and it’s almost all negative.  What perfectionism does that’s crippling:

  • You are never good enough, there’s a driveto always be better
  • Others are also never good enough, so relationships are hurt
  • You become anxiousor worrya lot, even having depressionand other psychological problems
  • You overthinkeverything
  • You become indecisive and inactive (you are paralyzed)
  • You avoid new challenges and opportunities for growth
  • You set unrealistic expectationson yourself and all the things you must do well
  • You miss out on the good things in life for all the focus on the bad
  • Your performance is negatively impacted

But we can (and do) change, so this can be fixed.  We can become people who are happier and healthier- and more productive.  What to do that can help change all that:*

  • Embrace yourselfas good enough, as good, as a unique human, worthy of a good life
  • Acknowledge that your perfectionism is hurting you (notice how)
  • Practice self-care and love on yourself as good, and doing it “good enoug, ” too
  • Write down a list of “What bad things will happen when I stop being a perfectionist”
  • Acknowledge that you can change
  • Acknowledge that you want to change
  • Expect that you will make mistakes (we are all human, and learning is made from mistakes)
  • Find ways to base your self-esteem on the internal (who I really am), not the external (performance)
  • Find your first smallest next step (and take it)
  • Set realistic goals
  • Watch out for the work shouldand change it to mayor want to
  • Celebrate and learn from success
  • Forgive yourself and learn from your failures
  • Forgive others their mistakes, too (and help them learn from them)
  • Learn to know the boundaries of your “circle of control” – you can’t control everything!
  • Set up criteria for decisions and stick to them (eg- 5 criteria, and a 4 is ok fr you to do)
  • Get realistic feedback from a trusted person or set of people
  • Watch for perfectionist messages coming towards you from other people, and reject them (let go of old past ones, but could be for therapy)
  • Intentionally make small mistakes (ones that don’t really matter) – to practice how it feels to be imperfect
  • Stop over-thinking with strategies:
    • Seethe overthinking
    • List what you overthink about
    • Note your biased memory – biased towards negative
    • Work on reducing self-criticism, and on adding more self-praise
    • When you are anxious, note if you are self-critical and change it
    • Distract yourself with self-care and other positive activities

*Most of these things are best done with a coach or therapist, as it’s very easy to return to our set ways.  It will take timeand we need to forgive ourselves before we start for the three steps forward, two steps back kind of growth and change it will be.  There will be failure, and incremental progress.  Also, there are some really great books about this, but again, I recommend doing this with someone else walking with you.  It works best.

Get out of Your Own Way and make sure your expectations are realistic

Have a very good enough summer!

Patricia Jehle  


Anxious, Worried about THE VOTE? Tips to get by

November 5th, 2016


Anxious? Worried? Overthinking?

Maybe you are anxious about the next few days (the vote) and then the results of the results. Maybe you have been one of those people who have googled jobs in Canada, or are thinking about moving to Ireland. No matter what your level of angst, I have a few tips for you to bridge the next few days so you can be a happier more productive person and avoid anxiety and overthinking.

If you have already voted

Then the rest of the results of the infamous 2016 US Presidential Election is out of your hands and you should follow the suggestions below in any way and order you want.

If you have not yet voted


Then you can follow the suggestions below in any order and way you want, but first remember to do your voting duty!

If you can’t vote

Most of my readers fall into this category, as I do live, write and work in Switzerland and most of us cannot vote in the US elections, here. In Switzerland we voted last month and have another upcoming vote, so vote then if you are qualified. Follow the suggestions at will.

After you have voted or if you can’t, here are some suggestions



Yes, go and find you old favorites and belt them out to high heaven. It will do you and your body AND your psyche very good. You have to focus on hitting the notes and getting the lyrics correct. In other words, you will be focused and not obsessing.



I am not going to my meditative dance group on Monday night and I will miss it. Of course, any dance will do, of course and it follows much like singing with similar benefits. If you are embarrassed about being seen, remember to close the window shades. I think it would be time for “I feel good” or “R.E.S.P.E.C.T.”, but it’s your choice, just like the music.



I worship the Christian God, creator of the universe, but if you choose to worship something else, I won’t mind. The point is here that you focus on the big picture and remember that life will continue in one way or another no matter what on Wednesday. I have been doing another act of worship, too, it’s called prayer. Anne Lamott says all prayer goes under four categories: help, thanks, wow, and hallelujah anyway. I have and will be praying about and for the upcoming POTUS, hope you will too.

An act of worship might even be making a plan for Wednesday. I have a good one.


Paint or color– or knit and crochet- or woodwork; do something with your hands

Coloring is a bit of a craze at the moment, but creating something, just about anything, with your hands is a very positive activity. It focuses you (no overthinking is able to creep in while you are in creative mode) and you have something at the end that you may be proud of. In my case, I may also not be so proud, but that is a subject for another blog.


Cook and eat good meals with pleasant people who have promised not to talk about The Election. This has been my choice of activity since the time changed a week ago (it’s earlier in Switzerland than in the US). It is very calming to create a meal and start cooking it as the sun sets, knowing you can have congenial people around you to eat it with.


Go for a walk

The weather is still relatively nice here, some red and yellow and orange leaves still cling to the trees. And anyway, the dog has to get out and do her thing. A good walk is one of the best things to do on any day. Now you should make sure you focus your mind on things that are positive, like your upcoming meal with friends, or what you will do on Wednesday, no matter what.


Sleep late or go to bed early without looking at the news

No news, if at all possible. Now that it gets dark early and stays dark late, take the time to sleep more. It’s good for you and who knows, you might even lose some weight as an added bonus. No joke.


Avoid any websites or apps where you can see allegations and finger pointing

It might be time for an internet fast– just till Wednesday morning. I do know that in Geneva there’s at least one voting night party and a friend posted that there are tickets still available, should you want to ignore this suggestion.



The four-square breathing exercise may be very helpful at this time. If you find yourself either not breathing or hyperventilating, this is a good cure: breathe in to the count of 4, hold for a count of 4, breathe out for a count of 4 hold for a count of 4. Repeat until you forget what you were stressing about.


Repeat ad infinitum

Looking forward to Wednesday and all the days after that,

Patricia Jehle