Posts Tagged ‘criticism’

The One Thing You Need to Know to Overcome Perfectionism

September 7, 2013

Erin Dougherty

This excellent post
by life coach Erin Dougherty cuts right to the heart of the compulsion to be perfect. I first gained insight into this subject by reading a wonderful and eye-opening book that explained the link between procrastination and perfectionism.

Here is the sentence in Erin’s essay that jumped out at me:

I never realized that perfectionism was an attempt to avoid all rejection, all criticism and all failure.

I’ve seen this fear control the lives of so many people I know and care about. Instead of making things happen and living a life of choice, they end up letting things happen and living a life of chance. The fear of criticism and failure is where dreams go to die. It makes me profoundly sad to know that decades from now, on their deathbed, so many people will experience the soul-crushing pain of regret at never having summoned the courage to follow their heart and chase after their dreams.

May Erin’s essay serve as a clarion call to procrastinators everywhere: Surrender to the indomitable spirit within you that ceaselessly whispers, You can do this . . . you must do this . . . there is greatness within you!


by Erin Dougherty

“You’re imperfect and you’re wired for struggle but you are worthy of love and belonging.” ~Brene Brown

There’s nothing perfect about me and I’m ok with that…now. This wasn’t the case for most of my life, though. In fact, I’ve been a perfectionist for almost 30 years. I’m not counting the first five years of my life when I was free to be as messy and magical as I wanted.

In third grade I asked my mom to buy me a stack of lined notebooks and colored pens. I spent hours neatly labeling each notebook by class, date and assignment deadlines. If I made one mistake like a jagged cursive letter or a misspelling, I’d rip out the page and begin again on a fresh sheet.

This was tiring but it was also a compulsion. Everything had to be (more…)

You May Be Right About That

July 19, 2009

Long ago, I knew that my life’s work was to encourage and inspire people to live more positive, healthy lives. Occasionally, I’ve encountered people who disagree with my premises on spirituality and feel compelled to tell me—often very stridently—how misguided I am.

I like being challenged, but only in the spirit of Let’s both learn from this, not in the spirit of I’m right, you’re wrong, and my way is the only way. At first, I tried to answer such attacks, thinking that perhaps we could at least have a cordial discussion even if we ultimately agreed to disagree.


Wayne Dyer

I quickly discovered that I was being naive. I like the way Wayne Dyer handles this. When somebody tries to criticize him in a non-constructive way, he replies with six words—”You may be right about that”—and moves on.

Wayne is a very wise man. Every minute he devotes to a dead-end argument is a minute taken away form his mission of helping others improve their lives. Therefore, I decided to spend all of my time and energy on people who are open to my message and are actively working to better their lives. If someone is abusive, I will (more…)

Love + Forgiveness = Relationship Repair

December 4, 2008

My mom and me

From the beginning, my mom and my wife were at odds with each other, and neither had any qualms about offering her opinion. I often felt caught in the middle. The conflict finally reached critical mass after I had a particularly bitter argument with my mom. I smugly wrote her a letter telling her she would no longer be in my life, and felt completely justified in sending it. What a clueless, self-righteous dolt I was! My dad told me later that my mom cried when she read the letter and had trouble sleeping for days afterward.

It didn’t take long for my mom and me to start talking again, but something important was missing. She had doted on me from the day I was born and we had always had a wonderful, loving relationship. But there was now a distance between us. I even stopped telling her I loved her because I couldn’t pretend that the purity of our relationship had been restored.

I don’t remember how long the rift between us lasted. It may have been months, but it seemed like years. Over time, it gradually dissipated until one day there was no longer any resentment or bruised feelings. We both had awakened to the understanding that love is what matters most. We also understood that we had both acted very foolishly.

My mom traces her wake-up call to (more…)