2 Confidence Killers

Some things are worth revisiting. In the last few months, the topics of perfectionism and comparison have frequently been present in casual and client conversations, and mentioned in several of my recent readings.

Both perfectionism and comparison play into the soundtrack of the gremlin in our heads and the self-talk that says “you’re not enough, and you’re not worthy”. These two are supreme culprits that erode our self-esteem, get in our way and sabotage our efforts.  They paralyze us into inaction, perpetuate a deep fear of failing and result in missed opportunities and unrealized dreams.

Brene Brown, in her book The Gifts of Imperfection, brilliantly examines perfectionism and comparison (among other things). Here are a couple excerpts about perfectionism.

‘Myths about perfectionism:

  • Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best. Perfectionism is not about healthy achievement and growth.
  • Perfectionism is not self-improvement. Perfectionism is, at its core, about trying to earn approval and acceptance.

Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield (of perfectionism) and picking up your life.  Research shows that perfectionism hampers success.’

up down comparison

In an article in the Huffington Post about 14 Habits of Ultra-organized People, one habit is ‘They Let Go of Perfectionism’. And then goes on further to say ‘In fact, many perfectionists are actually incredibly disorganized, they concentrate on all the fine details and end up becoming immobilized by [them]’.

Perfectionism is a self-destructive and addictive belief system that makes being imperfect mean being inadequate.  The truth is there is no such thing as perfect.

Comparison is also a process of addiction.  In that process, we leave ourselves and lose ourselves.  Whenever we compare ourselves to others, we lose. It’s also one of the quickest ways to lose your personal power – every time I do it, I feel less than or inferior, or self-righteous and ‘on top’ – either way, I lose myself.

Brene says ‘Comparison is all about conformity and competition.  When we compare, we want to be the best or have the best of our group. The comparison mandate becomes this crushing paradox of fit it and stand out. Comparison is the thief of happiness.  Creativity, which is the expression of our originality, helps us stay mindful that what we bring to the world is completely original and cannot be compared.  And, without comparison, concepts like ahead or behind or best or worst lose their meaning’.

To dismantle these confidence killers, we can start by changing our self-talk and exploring our fears.  On the other side is inner peace, new learnings, seized opportunities and stronger self-worth.

Go the link  A. (Action) of L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. series to read previous comments on perfectionism.


Click here to purchase Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection