“I just want to it to be perfect,” Carrie moaned. “I want my book to not get these types of reviews!”
I had looked at the reviews on Amazon and some people have been quite critical to say the least. Carrie passed me some news clippings with reviews from various book critics, some of those were quite harsh too. Yet despite that her book was selling really well and had remained quite high in the book charts.
“You want the book to be perfect?” I asked again.
“Yes! I just want better reviews as these hurt, makes me want to stop writing and just do something else.”
“Can you name a book which is perfect?” I asked.
Cue…long silence whilst they sat there thinking. I asked another question to keep the ball rolling.
“Can you name an author who is the perfect writer? Carrie, are you telling me that your ambition is to be the best ever writer that has ever existed in the whole of humanities history?
“Ummm, ok that is kind of silly.” She laughed.
“There will always be room for improvement, nothing can be perfect. Also the quest for perfection is a stealer of lives, it will rob you of time, energy and the life you could have.”
“Also Carrie, for some people perfection is a crafty excuse to hold yourself back from completing any project. It’s self sabotage for some people so they remain safe from rejection, criticism, embarrassment and shame. The mind (Caveman Brain) is lying to you to convince you that you cannot handle any type of negative critique. To believe that lie Carrie you have to forget how strong, resilient, adaptable and capable you are and how you have handled life in the past. It takes a lot of energy to maintain the lie that you are weaker than you are.”
“The truth is you can handle rejection, you can handle being critiqued, you are much stronger than you think. You can use the criticism if it is useful to do something better next time. Everything could be always be better, that is just the way life is as nothing is and cannot be perfect.”
“Why am I worried now, I never used to be?” Carrie asked.
“The Caveman Brain is under stress and you don’t seem to find much time to relax. The more stressed he is under from juggling too much in life the more dangers he starts to bring to your attention. You can also learn to experience the feelings that you hate the most so that they are no longer a threat. Remember if you hate feeling something then anything which could cause it will be seen as too dangerous. The Caveman Brain will try to hold you back and keep you safe from things which were not a problem before. Fear of fear is a horrible trap to get caught up into.”
Carrie learnt how to work with her thoughts and feelings when it comes to negativity to reduce their threat levels and intensity. We also worked on the stories her Caveman Brain came up with to try and protect her. Recognising these stories was the first step to being able to change to disassociate from them and change the script to something much more useful. The feedback a few weeks later was very positive as working with her Caveman Brain was producing some great results and not just in this area too.
Carrie also realised that just by learning to be more relaxed and making the time to do that produced more clarity and a healthier attitude to life.
“I can only do my best and that is that,” She said. “I welcome criticism now which is weird to do but I can analyse the criticism and use the useful stuff and discard the rest. I can’t do anymore than that.”
If you have issues with perfection, negative thoughts, feelings and the consequences then contact me for a chat. Make 2013 the best year yet for you.
Mindset is a Mind / Life Coach, Hypnotherapist, NLP, EFT, IEMT and MET Practitioner based in Brighton and Hove. My motto is life is too short to be held back by a mind which could do so much more than it thinks.
Client details changed for discretion and kind permission by my client to tell their story.