Anya Surnitsky, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator
Time for Relief
The hustle to be perceived as flawless is never-ending. You can't win; it's just a deceiving slippery slope of perfectionism. Perhaps you run on an subconscious belief system that goes something like this: If I can avoid the pain and shame of judgment, criticism, and rejection, then I will be safe. But as a likely high achiever, you know that you can't abide by this motto from Elbert Hubbard: "To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing."
So where does this leave you? >> Caught in the hustle of trying to please and perfect while avoiding negative perceptions from those around you. Your feelings of worthiness depend on how much you feel like you belong and you're accepted based on what you get done and how it gets done.
I work with people who care and do for others more than they care or do for themselves; turning inward to care for themselves seems impossible. All this focus on others has left an emptiness and loss of a sense of self. You want to change, but you don't want people to be "mad" at you either. This whole way of life is burning you out.
You CAN learn that who you are now is enough. As is. You don't have to continuously shape shift to fit into the tiny box where you feel accepted and worthy. Can you imagine how you would feel if you could soften into self-acceptance and knowing you're enough? There are big steps involved in this transformation, but we will take it one step at a time.
Coming to therapy to focus on yourself may seem too selfish (or too scary). You don't think it's okay to be the one who's "broken." It feels weak to be “needy;" you think you should just be able to figure it out yourself because you're smart, strong, and resourceful. Asking for help seems like a sign of weakness. >> You know what? I know you are smart, strong, and resourceful. Because you've probably already tried to figure it out yourself. To outrun it, outsmart it, out-hustle it, out-think it, out-everything it. You are not a failure because you can't figure it out or fix yourself as you've become accustomed to doing for everyone else.
Helpers and givers need to learn to receive help. It's counter-intuitive but true. No one gets through life unscathed- It's just not realistic. When you get wounded by what life throws at you, it is possible to heal, versus just slapping on the temporary band-aid (denial, alcohol, work, food, sex, avoidance, intellectualizing, etc.) that doesn't heal anything-- it just covers it up. The secret is: if you surrender to the vulnerability of working on this with support, you will feel and be so much stronger.
It means that you have to use your bravery to work through the fear of investing time and energy in your own healing. That is courageous. Many avoid coming to therapy for awhile due to fear that their stuff is too much, too overwhelming, too "crazy," or alternatively, not "bad enough." You may be embarrassed that you've waited so long and that you should have figured this stuff out by now (it's like believing you need to lose weight and get in shape before joining a gym). There is no "right" way to address your past, but the right time. If you are here and contemplating therapy, I'm glad you're exploring that nudge and that your time is now.
When you get here, my office a judgment free zone; I do my very best to create a relaxed environment where you can be yourself, take your shoes off, exhale, and feel at home.
Permission to Change
You have permission to exhale and attend to yourself. Permission? Yes, because culturally, we feel like we're not allowed. I want to help you challenge "the rules" about how you're supposed to be, so you can start living in alignment with your values and who you REALLY are. You can learn to find your inner hero/heroine that is hiding behind your inner critic so it can lead you in a new direction. You will actually begin to believe that you are not responsible for others feelings all.the.time.
You are ready to consider living a life that is not all about hustling for worthiness.
Recovering from Perfectionism
Hi! I’m Anya, a fellow recovering perfectionist (totally a thing), and if you can't tell by now, I’m here to help. Through our work together, I want to help you manage your anxiety while you embrace your inner badass and drop the charade. Not convinced you're a perfectionist? It's not a prerequisite, but if you're a chronic avoider, read this.
I want you to be able to take care of yourself without feeling guilty or selfish. Curious? Here are 3 Ways to Opt Out of Guilt, or sign up for a 5-day course on Standing Up for Yourself Without Guilt.
I want you to be able to determine what you say yes and no to based on your values, needs, and feelings, not those of others. Yes, it's totally possible. You can stop being an approval junkie.
I know you can stop feeling obligated to do what you are supposed to do, or what you should do, and that you want to be able to communicate with grace and kindness about what you want to do (I know this one is really hard).