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Lesson 10.2 - Rest and de-stress: why it is important and how it works


video lesson




From that little teaser in the introduction, are you curious about that one thing, the one way perfectionism shows up for us, that we haven’t talked about yet?

Perfectionism doesn’t only affect us mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It doesn’t only show up in our relationships, in our work, and in practical everyday life situations. It affects us physically as well.

As with any fear, perfectionism manifests itself in our body. You might not have realize it before, but the anxious, stressed-out feeling of perfectionism shows up as stress and tension in different parts of our body.

Let’s talk a little bit about how. Perfectionism can cause:

  • Tension headaches

  • A lump in your throat

  • Tightness in your shoulders, neck, and jaw

  • Clenching of the jaw

  • Grinding your teeth

  • Neck pains

  • Painful shoulder muscles

  • Rapid and shallow breathing

  • Shortness of breath

  • Heart palpitations or chest pains

  • A pit in your stomach

  • Clenching of your fists

  • Tightness in your legs, and/or

  • Flexing or pointing your feet

One or two of these symptoms might jump out for you. Or you might recognize all of them. Use the worksheet to identify which physical symptoms of perfectionism are most common for you.

These symptoms aren’t exclusive to perfectionism. This is how fear and stress typically shows up for us.

The problem is, though, that we rarely pay attention to these symptoms. We don’t see them as warning signs, because we’re so used to just ‘muscling through’.

We let the feeling of being rushed that we feel in our body invade every aspect of our life. Our life feels rushed. We feel like we need to rush through our work and work harder, do more, get more done. Our body hurts, but we don’t know how to make it stop hurting. We aren’t able to shut off our brain at night, because the thoughts keep rushing through our mind. We go to bed later and get up earlier and don’t get nearly enough of the rest we so desperately need. We’re always ‘on’ and never ‘off’.

All of this makes it more difficult to fight off perfectionism. I don’t know about you but I need all of my mental faculties to recognize when my perfectionism creeps in (it can be a sneaky bastard!) and stop it dead in its tracks and I can’t do that when I’m rushed, tired, stressed, sleep deprived, and burnt out.


So, let’s head on over to the next lesson to figure out how we can use rest and other techniques to de-stress our perfectionism-riddled mind and body.