Wake Up: Let Go of Trying to be Perfect and Release Stress and Anxiety

Vicki Smith –

Are you exhausted from striving to be perfect?  When you push to be perfect, you may put yourself under more stress by trying to control things and over time this can potentially lead to chronic illness. 

In this episode, we are exploring the impact of perfectionism. Get practical strategies to release stress and anxiety and find acceptance of yourself.

Ep. 106

My guest, Vicki Smith is a licensed psychotherapist and coach that specializes in people pleasing and perfectionism. 

Perfectionism can be a hard habit to break with the way we see everything in the world. We judge ourselves based on what we see around us when you need to be focused on who you are.  Embracing our shared human experience can help reduce our shame, because it reminds you that your setbacks are not unique and that you are not alone in your pain.

Vicky brings her personal and professional experience and shares her  thoughts on  perfectionism and self-compassion.  Through mindfulness she helps you discover your true nature and to share it with the world. To LIVE the life you’ve always wanted!

…to recognize one of the parts of mindful self compassion is it’s called common humanity, which is that other people have been in this situation just like I am right now. It’s a way to not feel so alone in it and so that you can fit in with other people and get lost in their thoughts too. Other people have fearful thoughts. When we’re going through something that’s difficult and throwing us into feeling out of control, right? When our bodies aren’t feeling well, we actually grasp onto anything we can control and thoughts and giving ourselves a little bit of a break is actually a way to find a slight bit of control in how we’re reacting to what our body is going through…

It is natural to feel overwhelmed by emotions, such as fear, anger, guilt, anxiety and depression. Recognizing these feelings can be the first step to finding ways to manage them. It is important to focus on what you can do each day rather than trying to control outcomes and be perfect.

Vicki encourages you to replace words like “should” and “what if” with “what if it works out?” as a way to introduce a more positive outlook. She suggested that when the negative thoughts start to take over, to limit the amount of time spent in that mindset and to focus on staying present. 

I loved Vicki’s example of the butterflies as our thoughts. When you catch your thoughts and start looking at them with a different perspective you can become really curious with them instead of fighting them. This will allow you to learn more about yourself and be aware.

You can learn more about Vicki on her website: PowerToThePleasers.com

Facebook @Power to the Pleasers and Instagram @power.to.the.pleasers

Combating Perfectionism

1. Acknowledge Feeling Perfectionistic 

Perfectionism can be a tiring experience, and one of the best ways to find peace is to acknowledge how you are feeling. Allow yourself to notice and give room for those feelings to exist, with compassion. Remember that even though striving for excellence is virtuous, it often takes away your peace if you’re expecting perfection every single time. 

2. Practice Mindfulness 

Mindfulness can help foster more self-compassion and help decrease the grip of perfectionism. As you go through your day, take moments of pause to observe what’s happening around and within you without the need to necessarily change or fix things. Describe emotions without judging them – “I feel frustrated that I couldn’t finish this task in due time…” – or simply create an unguided mindfulness practice for 10-15 minutes per day using guided-meditation.  

3. Reframe Your Inner Critic 

Your inner critic can contribute greatly to feelings of not being good enough or deserving enough comparison to external standards that aren’t always realistic! Spend some time reflecting on what type of stories would be more helpful when faced with difficult challenges instead of putting yourself down every time something doesn’t work out as planned. By actively framing yourself in a positive light always helps! 

4. Make Self-Care A Priority 

In a highly productivity driven world, there can be so much emphasis on working hard and putting too much pressure on yourself when it comes to achieving goals quickly and efficiently! Set boundaries for yourself between rest and work despite high levels of commitment, prioritizing your physical, mental and emotional needs over everything else . Even during times where work might feel overwhelming dedicate an equal amount of time each day towards activities that make you feel content from taking walks outdoors/listening/yoga etc., as they provide essential elements such as balance in life that no achievement nor task will ever satisfy fully!  

5. Be Kind To Yourself 

Being kind isn’t just about being gentle with others but also importantly being kind towards yourself by talking down older thinking patterns where deeper procrastinators put extra pressures on themselves while missing out important aspects such as appreciation & happiness – try memories session each day where we stop & appreciate ourselves outwardly rather than only critiquing all our efforts ad nauseam– keep going until you start seeing the beauty in little accomplishments & celebrate those moments You have achieved rather than comparing oneself constantly compare who else did it better? 

6. Connect With Loved Ones Often 

The illusion that perfection must be achieved 100% before allowing oneself joy presents another obstacle in grappling with perfectionism attitudes: disconnecting from loved ones & broader community ties; strive for quality connection by engaging in meaningful conversations & establishing personal boundaries around expectations imposed by expectations friends family members might have etc. -plus do remember: self worth should never come from having human approval all the time on everything we do but through our personal values & goals derived from self love then relationships grow in positive comfortable way !  

7. Move Away From Comparisons 

Last but not least – ensuring comparisons based approach moves away slowly means breaking free mentally so start celebrating unique setbacks as success stories: While making lists works great; alongside list actual steps, keep big picture projects goal centric insights close so you stay track how far come since beginning the journey!

Listen to this important episode to hear more.

How do you sail through life? Join me on this endeavor!

I would love to grow this amazing support community! Learn more here.

** Sailing Through Life Podcast is intended to educate, inspire and support you on your personal journey and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content is for general informational purposes only. If you are suffering from any psychological or medical conditions, please seek help from a qualified health professional.


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Published by Lorie

Hello and welcome to Sailing Through Life! My name is Lorie. I am a 2-time melanoma cancer survivor and a sailor - in my heart and on the water. I want to be a beacon of light to others with life challenges and be an inspiration to stay positive while going through these life-altering events. Join me as I set sail on this new adventure... Sailing Through Life.

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