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Many of us are born in families where one or both parents were deeply unfulfilled with their own self. This parent then chooses to project this sense of un-fulfillment on their children. Meaning they start to seek fulfillment through the children. This has dire consequences for the development of the child. 

If you are person who has a “perfectionist” mindset then you most likely had such a parent. For such a parent nothing is and never will be enough. The child of this parent will have a very hard time feeling “good enough” about themselves, no matter how hard they try.

It is very useful to first identity the key properties of this child as they grow up.

1) They never feel good enough about themselves no matter how much they have accomplished in life. Many of such people are very high achievers. On the other side of the spectrum, there are many people who become very depressed and suicidal very early on in life because they don’t get any sense of being good enough that is needed to survive.

2) Most of these people will face burn out at some point in life. For the simple reason that they keep running and running and never reach any satisfactory goal.

3) The hidden goal of this child is to make someone else happy through their accomplishments.

4) These people will always aim very high in life. Nothing wrong with aiming high, but what they are aiming for maybe completely beyond their skill set at a given point in time. It is an incorrect mindset that we should aim extremely high so that even if you accomplish something lower that will be good enough. This thinking comes from the mindset that aiming high is required to motivate a person to do well. Research shows that people accomplish far more if they set realistic goals and once they achieve these goals the sense of accomplishment becomes a fuel for higher goals.

5) These people try to go in many different directions. They get diverted from their life purpose and core skill set. They are taught at a young age that there is nothing that they cannot accomplish if they set their mind to it. This is also a wrong mindset. We all have limitations as humans. We are given only a certain set of skills that are aligned with our life purpose. Running around with this incorrect mindset we take on responsibilities that are not ours and as a consequence burn out much faster.

A simple way to get over the perfectionist mindset to realize what led you to become such a person: you had an insatiable parent. The problem is with the parent and not with you. Declining to take on the projection of the parent is very healing in nature. It takes the pressure off of you. You can now think clearly and see what you truly want to accomplish with your life rather than what will make your parent happy (which will never come). Also take inventory of your accomplishments. This will make you feel good about yourself and loosen the need to be perfect.