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Being perfect is hard work!

This is ‘the chair’. The chair that clothes used to be thrown on. The chair that never actually got sat on. The chair that has been through a house move and just been in a corner of my bedroom since I was 15 years old and I saw it at a jumble sale. It’s green velvet with brown brocade was never appealing but I’ve always loved the legs and the curve of its back. When I decluttered it stayed, to the surprise of friends who had seen its paint splattered 70s seat. It stayed because I really loved it, even though now I’ve decluttered it has no real purpose (clothes are put away now 😂). Ever since I’ve had it (no doubt in part to watching ‘changing rooms’ in the ‘90’s) I’ve wanted to recover it. Give it a makeover. So why haven’t I? Like a lot of my clients I suffer with anxiety and I’m a perfectionist. You may think that this means tasks get done and are done perfectly! Er, no. Last week working with a client perfectly summed up the problem with perfectionism. It can be truly disabling. You can be too scared to even start something for fear of not doing it perfectly. If things are outside of your comfort zone they are vetoed. Tasks never attempted, only avoided, and the little voice that tells you that you can’t do it just gets bolder. So the chair remained in its dodgy green 70s velvet, reminding me every day that it needed doing. A client last week suffered so badly from anxiety related to perfectionism that she was too scared to attempt to clean a room. She worried she was going to not do it properly, that she’d miss something, that she’d use the wrong cleaning materials. She said she felt permanently like a deer caught in headlights. So how to you get out of the perfectionism trap? It’s a long process as it’s usually involved with other issues but you just take one task at a time. In my case it was realising I could give it a go, but have a fall back plan! If it all went wrong I could take the chair to a professional to redo it, so I had nothing to lose except a few hours and the cost of some material. For my client it was recognising what the problem was, what task she wanted to complete and asked for help (by contacting me). We decluttered her bathroom and put simple procedures in place so that it would be easy for the whole family to keep tidy. We then went through her cleaning products and assigned each one a job. A lot of clients are practical/visual learners, so talking about how to do something doesn’t work. So we cleaned together and then wrote it down, almost like a practice run together. That built up enough confidence for her to attempt it again in the future. That’s the thing about avoidance, keep doing it and it gets bigger, keep plugging away at tasks and trying and the fear gets smaller. So now I have a happy client, and I’m happy with my chair! A very proud few weeks where I discovered a love of staple guns 😂 and the mantra ‘it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be done’ was created! Have a great week, Love Heather  

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