The most dangerous thing about perfectionism is [this level of perfection] doesn’t exist. Yet so many people, especially women, are driven to seek it in every area of their lives. At a minimum, it pushes their goals further out of reach. At worst, it actually ruins their health and relationships.
LOS ANGELES (PRWEB) April 12, 2018
Nearly every Monday, Joanna is brought to tears at a job that she feels is crushing her soul. Her position offers minimal pay, no opportunity for promotions and does nothing to boost her resume. Yet she can’t seem to quit.
Stacey impulse buys clothes and shoes for fancy dinners and parties which she never seems to attend. At the same time, her dreams of home ownership slip farther and farther away.
Sam spends three hours every day at the gym and hasn’t had a carb in months. Yet she just can’t get where she feels she needs to be to be more attractive.
These stories may seem unrelated. But at the core of each is something more menacing than any of these women can imagine. Each of their struggles stem from an irrational desire to achieve some state of perfection.
“The most dangerous thing about perfectionism is that the level of perfection they’re expecting of themselves just doesn’t exist. Yet so many people, especially women, are driven to seek it in every area of their lives. At a minimum, it pushes their goals further out of reach. At worst, it actually ruins their health and relationships.”
That’s according to writer and speaker Megan Reilly as described in her new book “Escaping Perfectionism: Rewrite Your Story and Reclaim Your Life.” (Now available through her website http://www.TheStoryisYours.com, and on Amazon in both kindle and print).
The book is partly a story about Reilly’s own journey from self-inflicted perfectionism to healing and recovery. Equally important, the book serves as a guide for those who continue to suffer from perfectionism and all its many faces and manifestations.
“This is the book I wish had been on the shelf at the height of my own suffering,” says Reilly. “I wrote the book that would have helped me. My hope is that my experiences and journey can help others as they begin their own healing.”
Perfectionism sabotages many areas of our lives, according to Reilly. She identifies seven: careers, money, personal relationships, health, spirituality, and our home/office environments. Reilly says that many unnecessarily suffer because of a limiting Perfectionism Story (PS) that’s been learned at some point along the way to adulthood. Her book helps women identify the specific areas of her life being hampered or harmed by a Perfectionism Story. This, in turn, allows the healing to begin.
To aid in that healing, the book facilitates a process that has readers actually rewrite their own Perfection Stories in a way that avoids the people and situations that have derailed past endeavors. This, says Reilly, helps women (and men!) who read it make more lasting, authentic connections with everyone in their life – especially themselves. The book also includes optional meditations that allow readers to reflect back on the experiences and better understand how they learned a flawed Perfectionism Story.
Reilly provides a strong voice and writes from a unique perspective as she relates parts of her own story. A young woman from a rural farming town in Central California, she seemed to have everything going for her when in 2009, as a recent college graduate, she packed up her car and headed to LA. She quickly created a picturesque life living near the beach – a lifelong dream of hers – and established herself as a professional freelance writer, which included a column in the Santa Monica Daily Press.
It all seemed perfect. It almost was – until the day that Reilly found herself in a doctor’s office suffering the serious health consequences of an eating disorder that had escalated after many years of avoiding addressing it.
“I was in denial for a long time because since I was able to keep appearances, I justified that what I was doing to myself wasn’t really detrimental to my health or to those around me,” says Reilly. “That mindset was informed by what I now see and call ‘Perfectionism Stories.’ I want other women who feel the way I did to know that it’s not as hopeless as it feels, that there is help available, and that they can rewrite their story no matter how lost they may feel right now.”
Reilly has enjoyed several years of active recovery thanks to discovering that her professional writing was (and is) also a powerful tool for personal healing. By identifying her old Perfectionism Stories through a healthier lens – and rewriting them from a place of being “good enough” – she has transformed her life into something so much bigger than she ever thought possible.
While the book is geared toward women, it can help anyone interested in escaping the bonds of perfectionism. It can also help parents, partners, friends, and even distant family members find a renewed understanding and richer relationship with a person facing a perfectionism-based issue. Perfectionism comes in many different forms, not just eating disorders, says Reilly.
“Manifestations of perfectionism include insomnia, over-worrying, excessive shopping, over drinking, over eating, and procrastination, among many other things.”
In addition to the publishing of her book, Reilly offers public speaking and a free workshop series on YouTube, the “Escaping Perfectionism Workshop Series.” Named after her book, the videos provide a mini-writing workshop intended to help healing begin within minutes.
To join the community, hire Megan as a speaker, request an interview, or simply to find out more about her book, visit http://www.TheStoryisYours.com. Reilly can also be followed on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/_thestoryisyours_.