This is Tara Galeano. I’m trained as a sexual empowerment coach, sex therapist or a Women Sex Therapist. My specialities include helping women claim their desire by listening, knowing, and loving their bodies so that they can have more intimacy, pleasure, and claim their desires. You can follow me here on this Facebook page or on my YouTube channel, which is currently named Boulder Sex Therapy. I’m glad that you’re able to join me here today.
If you’ve been following me for the past few weeks, you know that I’ve been speaking about my masterclass, Rediscover My Body, which I’ve been promoting. Because I’ve been on social media platforms promoting a lot more, recently, I discovered that I actually like providing consistent, valuable information to all of my audiences. So I’ve made the decision to provide weekly Facebook Live here on Thursdays at 10:00 a.m.ish Pacific time, because I’m not much of a perfectionist when it comes to time, except for when I’m meeting my clients. I am here with the flow of “ten”ish. Last week I spoke about grief, the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, and how I had seen a lot more grief in the field for women, what to do to address that, and begin to release the grief. Today I’m speaking about perfectionism. Thank you so much for joining me here today. What I’m going to be speaking about today specifically, are the three myths of perfectionism and isolation.
I follow the lives of women and the stories that they share with me. I also feel into my own experiences. What I recognize is there’s a lot of perfectionism reigning in women’s lives. My sense is that you know what I mean. I’ll be discussing three myths that I see commonly. I’ll begin with a story. I’m going, to begin with, myself because I am not immune to this perception of perfectionism. I certainly lived in it a lot more when I was younger and was recently married- a mama of two young children, going to graduate school, and feeling like I needed to do it all, be it all, and that I needed to do it by myself. Armouring developed around me. I was not asking for help. I had all of those stories that I told myself that I needed to be perfect and that going to graduate school was a lot of work.
My instructor, Karen, was an author and a speaker, and somebody that I highly esteemed. She started questioning me about my life and could really feel the rigidity of how I was showing up. She helped me at that moment break through the perfection, as I melted, crying from my armor that had prevented me from showing up in my classwork and training as a therapist. After I stopped, she asked me if she could include me in an article. I was thinking, wow, I’m going to be included in an article? She wanted to showcase me as a case study for this perfectionism that reigns. Then, I felt so vulnerable, misunderstood, and awful. That’s how I felt. I felt really awful that wow, I’m so broken that I’m going to be a case study, not for some shiny example of something that I highly esteem, but for perfectionism and how it was controlling my life.
It was true that it was preventing me from showing up in a viable way as a women sex therapist. My training as a radical self-love therapist wasn’t so much cognitive, as it was about showing up and knowing my own shit, so that I wasn’t putting it on other people. The clearer I was in knowing that, the more helpful I could be to others. My armouring of perfectionism was really preventing me from making that connection. I’m sure some of you out there can absolutely relate to that.
Coming back to my notes, the first myth is we must control, right? We have this illusion of controlling who we are, and how people perceive us. I see this specifically in the clients that I work with who are women and who are highly successful in the material realm. They may be working in corporate America and be the primary breadwinner for their family. They may have small children, multiple little ones, and they are doing it all. They have a partner, they have a successful career, they’re an amazing mama. They feel like what they’re doing is incredible and that no one understands the pressure that they’re under. So they control it all. They don’t share their vulnerability, they don’t lean on another, but they rein it all in. The myth is that they need to control it all. In reality, they absolutely don’t. It is just a myth because you really can’t control anything, right? You can control your behavior. You can control and manage how you show up in the world, but you can’t control how other people perceive you. That is the desire with perfectionism, which is to control how others perceive you. So it’s this myth of control.
The second myth that we’re going to be busting today is that we must protect the vulnerable parts of ourselves. It’s not only controlling other people’s perceptions, but the second myth is that we must protect the vulnerable parts of ourselves with heavy armouring so that we’re plated up severely and densely inhibited by a protective barrier that keeps the soft bits within ourselves armoured because we need to protect those vulnerable parts. If somebody were to see how we actually feel about ourselves, maybe we’re too much or not enough is often what I see, then it would be disastrous. Really protecting those vulnerable bits of ourselves and this is what I was experiencing in graduate school. I couldn’t let anybody see how I was really falling apart inside. The urging was to really fall apart because then we can actually be put back together in a different way. I was this Jenga puzzle and if you pull that one piece I was going to collapse. Instead I armoured up, not relaxing into the soft bits of myself and being okay with my not-enoughness. That’s another video. See here. That was myth number two.
Moving on to myth number three. Here we go. Perfectionism creates isolation, maybe that’s more fact than myth. However, the myth of that is that the perfectionist seeks isolation and distance because nobody actually is getting past this veneer of perfection and that they need to do whatever themselves. The latter part is the myth.
Everybody is at an arm’s distance in a way that makes the perfectionist feel isolated. There is no real intimacy. The myth of that is we’re meant to do this life alone. Yes. One of the major tenets of my work is breaking down this illusion of separation. We are absolutely meant to do this life with others. We need other support, we need others’ love, we need other people. When we show up in our own vulnerable humanness, as messy as that can be, we give other people the opportunity to connect with us. When we come in with that veneer of perfectionism, there’s no entry point. There’s no possible way in. You bump up against the other and move on. There is no intimate connection which is made through vulnerability. It’s just perfectionism and how that creates this illusion of separation.
Do any of those myths reign in your life? Do they resonate as true? Remember, the first myth is control; that we need to control it all. The second myth is that we need to protect that vulnerability. The third myth, which is perfectionism, leads to isolation because we have to do it all by ourselves. There’s certainly more myths about perfectionism. I’ve just provided the three top three that I’ve seen recently in my work. If you’re feeling armoured and want some help, I can’t tell you how many women recently, a lot of men who have shared with me for the first time. This is something that they’ve shared only with me, that they don’t have the words to share with their beloved. They didn’t think that they could actually say that to their intimate partner, that they didn’t want anybody else to know how fragile they actually were. Yet I know that speaking it to me is a first step to making that bridge to others, to the loved ones in their lives that go well beyond their therapeutic relationship with me.
If you’re looking for that first step and want a listening ear to really hear you in that heart space, I’m here for you. This is what I do. I invite you to check out the link below for the Body Wisdom Journal. That is a great tool for your toolbox, and it’s a great understanding for you to understand you. That’s why I wrote the Body Wisdom Journal. That’s why I wrote my book Rediscovering MyBody, to create that compendium of information on who you are because you are the expert on you, I’m just a guide. I’m a guide helping people create more pleasure, claim more desire in their lives, have more intimacy and love in their relationships. If you want more of that, join here every week, Thursdays, at 10:00, a.m.Pacific Time. If you like this video, please like it and leave a comment. I would love to get more engagement and understand what’s going on with you, so that next week, I can provide a video that is meaningful to you. Thanks so much.