Perfectionism: Mapping the Vast Interior Part IV/ Looking North

This is a continuation of a blog about perfectionism that began with a posting on March 21, 2017:  “Perfectionism: Mapping the Vast Interior Part I/Facing East.”  Read it along with Parts II and III if you can.

Gail Yosemite painting

So happy to welcome you as we resume our journey around the Sacred Medicine Wheel, visiting the Four Directions and addressing the dilemma of being a perfectionist.  The cardinal directions—East, South, West and North offer a time-honored framework to access inner resources and ancient wisdom.

Now we look North, as we move to complete our journey around the Sacred Medicine Wheel and reflect on our desire for perfection and it’s impact on our lives and work lives.  The season associated with the North is winter, and it signifies the final letting go of what has been harmful, false or unsupportive.  In winter, plants wither and trees shed their leaves.  As we journey to the North gate we too have the opportunity to move beyond whatever is holding us back.  The task now is to clear our selves completely, so that come spring; there is room to seek experiences that more deeply align with and nurture our true spirit.

In your course around the wheel, you’ve reflected on the role of perfectionism in your life, what say you now?  Is there a sense that your perfectionistic goals are beneficial?  Do they motivate you in positive ways?  Or have you found that perfectionism has led you astray, down undefined paths that seem to have little to do with what makes you happy?   Has it ever felt like a career goal didn’t really come from you, but from some societal map of where you should be by now?  This is the time to let the falseness go and meet your need for meaningful employment while paying the bills.

We human beings seem wired for self-improvement, but when this inner push is co-opted by an inner critic, never satisfied in the quest for perfection, we pay an awfully high price spiritually.  This inner critic essentially shuts down our authentic voice and makes it difficult to know who we really are and what we are capable of.  Have you tried silencing this negative voice and replacing it with something more encouraging?  Easier said than done, I know, but totally worth the effort, particularly when practiced over time. Lean into those desires for more and better.  Slow down to define, recognize and reinforce what’s actually good for you and your family.  Work life balance anyone?

Living with constant second-guessing, self-depreciation and a lack of inner appreciation for our efforts makes it hard to accomplish much on any front.  Minor tasks become confusing and the big stuff is out of the question.  Practice acknowledging and feeling good about taking small steps and watch your confidence grow.  Many of us want more confidence and think we could make desired changes if we had it.  You can give this to yourself.

On our journey West, we began the process of identifying and healing from hurtful events of the past year.  As that healing brings new perspective, we move to release what we no longer need on the deepest spiritual levels.  In the North we find peace, serenity and resolve, and allow spirit to do the work.

Welcome the peace that comes from letting go of what is no longer real or beneficial to you.  Be comfortable with yourself and know that your hope for a better you and a better life will come as you calmly make room for it, as you clearly define what truly matters.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I bring over 30 years of experience as a personal and career counselor, teacher of career and life planning, academic advisor, small business owner and facilitator of groups and workshops. I offer a blend of personal and career counseling to provide a holistic approach to career and life planning, workplace and business issues.

Gail Nicholson, MA, LPC


 

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