perfectionism and anxiety triggered by starting new things

There’s nothing that snowballs perfectionism and anxiety more than being new at stuff, right? You can’t be a master at something that you just started. You’re going to naturally like, suck. And guess what?

That’s super human of you.

This is my first blog post on a new website and it feels gross to write. I’m not someone who shares her inner thoughts with the world but for the sake of my life purpose that I need to. Believe me. I would LOVE to hide away until my offerings, posts and brand are sheer perfection. But alas…the product is the process and we are in the newness phase – the sticky, mushy, uncomfortable muck.

This is a messy phase full of failures. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve started and stopped and then started up again building this new creation. This blog post alone took 6 months and many drafts. The steps I was trying to take felt wrong. I was putting so much pressure on myself to do it all alone and get it right the first time. The pressure to perform created resistance and I ended up in a freeze trauma response (courtesy of my childhood).

So what can you actually do address perfectionism and anxiety to move through the sucky start phase?

Practice Kind Self Talk
One of the most important things you can do to move through the sucky start phase is to practice kind self-talk. When we’re new at something, it’s easy to get caught up in negative thought spirals and self-doubt. The perfectionism and anxiety take over. We may tell ourselves that we’re not good enough or that we’ll never get it right.

Instead, try to be kind and compassionate towards yourself. Treat yourself like you would treat a good friend who is struggling. We’re never the same dick to our friends that we are to ourselves. Try encouraging yourself. Remind yourself that it’s okay to make mistakes, and celebrate small victories.

For example, when I was struggling to write this blog post, I practiced kind self-talk by telling myself things like:

“It’s okay to suck at something.”

“You’re doing the thing, keep going!”

“If we do this now, we can go curl up in a ball and cry afterward.”

You can shift your mindset from the harsh inner critic to one of self-compassion. This can help you to move through the difficult moments with more ease and confidence. This is a BIG inner shift that can take years to develop. By doing the work, we are cultivating a more meaningful, supportive relationship with ourselves.

Sit with the Shitty Feelings that Come Up
I’m sitting here writing this blog entry with the most nauseating feeling in the pit of my stomach. So, I’m gonna walk you through exactly what I’m doing to power through this moment. First, you want to pause doing anything and tune into the gross feeling. Where is it located? How would you describe it? What does it want you to know?

In my case, the feeling was coming up in my solar plexus and throat. It was heavy and rose up hot. It wanted me to know that there’s fear coming up around using my voice by writing this blog entry. “What if people hate me for speaking my truth? What if they abandon me?” It’s some deep wound shit.

Every time I sit with these physical feelings, I acknowledge they exist and am more able to move them up and out. (More on that in another post) By doing this, I gain a deeper understanding of my emotions and I use that insight to move through future difficult moments with more ease and self-awareness.

Move your Body
Once you’ve sat with the uncomfortable feelings and gained insight into what they’re telling you, you may find that the emotions are still lingering in your body. It’s important to find ways to move those emotions out of your body in a healthy and constructive way. Here are some techniques that may be helpful:

1. Work with your hands: Sometimes, when we’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed, it can be helpful to engage in a tactile activity. This can help to ground us and bring us back to the present moment. Try knitting, drawing, coloring, or even playing with Play-Doh.

2. Dance: Movement is a great way to release pent-up emotions and get your energy flowing. Put on your favorite music and allow your body to move in whatever way feels natural. Don’t worry about looking silly or getting the steps “right” – the goal is to move in a way that feels good to you. My therapist sent me this “Free Dance” video from Qoya that I love.

3. Shake it out: Literally shaking your body can be a great way to release tension and energy. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and shake your arms, legs, and torso. You may want to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of the shaking.

4. Vocal Toning: Using your voice to create different sounds can be a powerful way to release emotions. Try making sustained “ahh” or “mmm” sounds, or experiment with different vocalizations that feel good to you. I love Dorothea Lucaci’s guided toning sessions on YouTube.

5. Burping: This may sound silly, but burping can actually be a great way to release pent-up emotions. When we’re feeling anxious or stressed, we tend to hold tension in our stomachs, which can lead to gas. Allowing yourself to burp can help to release that tension and create a sense of relief.

Remember, everyone’s experience of emotions is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. Experiment with different techniques and find what feels most helpful for you. The goal is to find healthy and constructive ways to move emotions out of your body so that you can move forward with more clarity and ease.

Keep Going
The key is to keep moving forward despite the fear and discomfort. You may not get it perfect the first time, but that’s okay. The process of learning and growing is messy, and it’s through those messy moments that we gain the most valuable insights and experiences.

As a sensitive soul, you may have experienced perfectionism and anxiety in various aspects of your life. It’s important to remember that these feelings are normal and valid, but they don’t have to control your actions or define your self-worth.

Instead, try to embrace the newness phase and allow yourself to make mistakes. Remember to practice kind self-talk and sit with your emotions, rather than pushing them away. And always keep moving forward, even if it’s just one small step at a time.

So, whether you’re starting a new business venture or trying something new, don’t let perfectionism and anxiety hold you back. Embrace the sucky start phase and trust that you will eventually find your way.

If you loved this, let’s do it again! Click here to stay connected.

Similar Posts