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Getting Out of the Perfectionism Trap

How do we get out of the perfectionism trap?

According to Ann Dunnewold, Phd, the author of Even June Cleaver Would Forget the Juice Box (2007), perfectionism in motherhood is influenced by External Factors:

  • Cultural norms

  • Societal messages

And Internal Factors:

  • Need to control

  • Anxiety – fear of what might happen

You may wonder why you have such a need to control things or are anxious a lot. Examining the above factors as they pertain specifically to YOU can help you gain some clarity. Journaling, talking to a trusted friend, and therapy can all help with this exploration.

Be gentle and kind to yourself. It’s not realistic to get it right all of the time. Treat yourself with the same loving care you give to your babies. More on this in my “Momming Yourself” post. Challenge automatic thoughts, black and white thinking and catastrophizing. For example, next time you think, “I should breastfeed until my baby is one,” reframe the thought into a request: “It would be nice if I could breastfeed my baby until they are one, but if I can’t, I know there are other great options.” Learn bodily sensations & cues that precede those automatic thoughts so you can notice patterns and catch yourself thinking automatically. Explore where this need to be perfect originates for YOU, specifically. What are you working so hard to protect yourself from?

P.S. You may like to know that while I was writing this blog, Prissy was ever present. She was reminding me to make sure I referenced the proper people, to make sure my grammar was correct (is? was?), and to worry about the length of each entry. But she also made me procrastinate and spend much longer on this than I needed to. Thanks Prissy, I appreciate your input! ☺

Written by:

Rebecca Geshuri


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