Yesterday at the beginning of a group Zoom call, a colleague asked me if I considered myself a perfectionist. I replied that yes I do and wondered what made her ask. One of the reasons she listed was that I was always on time.
[I'm going to pause here for my friends and family to stop laughing and peel themselves off of the floor.]
The thing is, in person, I'm not usually on time. So while I do identify as a Type A perfectionist being on time has always been an outlier for me. Or so I thought.
What's really happening is that my perfectionism means that I believe everything around me will go perfectly.
A Harvard study from a few years ago found that chronically late people tend to be more optimistic. I think that's true about myself so I gave it some thought.
When I have a Zoom call at 3:00, I assume that my internet is working, Zoom won't have issues and my audio will connect correctly. So I can click the link at 2:58 or 2:59 and be on time. That works the majority of the time. So my clients and colleagues think I'm usually on time.
I apply those same assumptions when I have an appointment outside of my house. I assume that I will hit only green lights, that all of the cars around me will be driving the speed limit or faster, there won't be any traffic, road construction, emergency vehicles or buses, and I'll find a parking spot immediately. Have I mentioned that I live in Chicago? This outlook almost never gets me to my destination on time. So my friends and family think I'm usually late.
Both are true because of the reality I've created for myself.
I tell myself that I only need the minimum amount of time to get somewhere and plan accordingly. Then when I inevitably run late I criticize myself for always running late, making people wait, and not leaving on time. In other words I make myself feel terrible about being late and then adopt those mean thoughts as the kind of person that I am.
The next time I need to leave the house I repeat the cycle again. Because I've told myself over and over that I'm always late, I can't leave the house on time, other people know I run late, etc. Basically I relinquish all control over whether or not I show up on time because I've convinced myself there's nothing I can do about it.
We create these cycles in all areas of our lives.
If you tell yourself constantly that you can't lose weight you're going to go for a second donut in the break room because the reality you've created for yourself is one where you don't lose weight no matter what.
If you're always telling yourself that there's not enough time in the day you won't notice the pockets of time you do have that you use to scroll Instagram or read celebrity gossip.
If you think you that you only know how to do one type of job with one job title, then you won't respond to that awesome job posting that is looking for someone with your skills.
The way we talk to ourselves matters so much that I'm hosting a free webinar tomorrow, Thursday, August 19 at 7 pm Central! I'll be teaching you how to reframe your self-talk using awareness, affirmations and action. You'll be amazed at what's possible for you once you start being nicer to yourself!
A recording will be provided to everyone who registers.
I’m a life coach helping women get unstuck so they can live the life they want and I have one on one coaching spots available.
What is a life coach? ✨Someone who holds a judgment-free space for you to share your thoughts and feelings. ✨Someone who provides you with a neutral, objective perspective. ✨Someone who believes you can get the results you want and will support you every step of the way. ✨Someone who challenges you to level-up and be the best version yourself. ✨Someone who may say things you won't want to hear, but always says them with love. ✨An investment in yourself that you deserve.