The Root Cause of Perfectionism in Highly Driven Empaths

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In this series, I'm answering the top questions that highly driven empath women ask about the nervous system. One of the top questions is about the cause of perfectionism and overwhelm. Do you feel the need to control everything? Do you set too high standards for yourself? Why does this show up in your life? 

Perfectionism has a massive impact on the way you feel about yourself and the world around you. It creates emotional pain and discomfort. That perfectionism is getting in the way of your life: more happiness, more health, better relationships, and more business. By learning to regulate your nervous system, you'll improve how you relate to yourself and improve your performance in all areas of life.

I'm going to speak to that perfectionism that always shows up in your life. And I'm going to show you how women with a regulated nervous system have succeeded in easing it.

Before I dive in, I want to let you know that we are currently offering a free detailed Nervous System Profile.

This is perfect for you if you are experiencing…

  • A sense of overwhelm, increased alertness, and underlying anxiety. 
  • Feeling irritable, overly reactive, easily frustrated. 
  • Signs of chronic stress or embodied trauma (e.g., sleep problems, hypersensitivity to sounds and smells, pain in the neck and shoulders, back pain, tension.)

Adrenal fatigue is REAL. And healing IS entirely possible, without having to give up your life, your dreams, your drive.

Find out exactly where you’re at with our Nervous System Profile Test. Get started below:

Our Client's Story of Overcoming Perfectionism

We have a client that is a doctor with two children. She's a single mom with a lot on her shoulders; One of her children has special needs, and she juggles a very demanding professional life. As a doctor, she needs to be present and precise with her patients. She was working to build a new relationship while also dealing with her children's father, who was a colleague at work. 

Before this client started her healing journey with us, she put an enormous amount of pressure on herself. She felt that everything needed to be perfect. She needed to follow a certain standard she had set for her job, her relationships, and her own performance. 

We worked to get to the core of her desire to do things perfectly – of being a slave to her perfectionism. We were finally able to discover what was holding her back. We found the core wound that was driving her perfectionism, allowing her to transform how she related to herself and others completely.

3 Secrets Highly Driven Empath Women Know About the Cause of Perfectionism

Here's the secret that highly driven empath women with a regulated nervous system know about easing perfectionism: 

From a neurobiological perspective, at the core of perfectionism lay a deep sense of shame, not fitting in, and not being enough. Your nervous system feels threatened, fearful of being cast out of the group or rejected by society. 

To your nervous system, this fear is the worst possible outcome. We have evolved over millions of years to do one thing very well: connect and bond with other human beings to survive. 

As a species, we no longer have to deal with the constant threat of predators. However, highly driven women in a mostly male-dominated world are wired to avoid shame. We feel that we must do it all, be perfect, and never let others see us struggle. 

At the core of perfectionism is a need to control our outside reality, especially when there is chaos inside ourselves. The more we get lost in our internal turmoil and chaos, the more we cling to perfectionism and overachievement. I see this all the time in high performing, high achieving, exceptionally driven women. 

Here's what I want you to do the next time you catch yourself setting overly high standards for yourself: 

Pause for a moment to remind yourself what is at the core of this perfectionism: the shame and the fear of not being enough. 

Remember the little girl you were years ago and take time to feel how much she wanted to be loved; To be liked, accepted, and feel that she belonged. I want you to sit with that little girl and tell her, “I am here for you. I love you. Keep going. You don't need to do everything perfectly to deserve my love. You're amazing just the way you are.” 

Stay with those feelings and experience how it feels in your body. Perhaps you feel a sense of warmth, or some tension has been released. Take time to feel this sense of ease in your body. 

Follow these three steps when you are feeling the pressure and overwhelm of perfectionism. I'd love to hear back from you about how it works for you! 

Want to find clarity on the cause of your perfectionism and see fast and powerful changes towards feeling calm and more regulated? 

I am inviting you to take our quiz and receive your Nervous System profile. Get started below:

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The Root Cause of Perfectionism in Highly Driven Empaths

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About the Author

Dr. Linnea Passaler

Dr. Linnea Passaler

Dr. Linnea and the HYNS team help highly-driven, highly-sensitive women heal from anxiety, stress, and emotional reactivity without drastic life changes or hours of meditation and talk therapy by harnessing the power of the Nervous System.