Perfectionism will reduce your personal power and effectiveness. I used to take pride in saying I was a “perfectionist” until I started to realize WHY I was a perfectionist. Truth was, I felt insecure and “making a mistake” pushed my “not good enough” button that I was doing my best to conceal. I was great at putting on a mask that appeared by most people’s account as smart, successful and competent.

Actually, I really was smart, successful and competent… I just didn’t really believe I was on the inside. My inner critic worked overtime no matter how many tests I aced, how much money I made, or how many successful eye surgeries I performed. So, of course, I was always driven to “do” more because I thought if I could just do more, I could “be” more.

I was also sucked into believing back then that if I could achieve more, then I could “have” more, and then I would be “more happy.” Well, one day I finally woke up. I realized that there is a very big difference between “perfectionism” and excellence. I also started to take steps to change my thinking and to rid myself of these beliefs. Here are three examples of what I did at the level of self-identity.

1. I made an intention to begin to like myself, so called “flaws” and all. So, what’s wrong with having flaws, anyway? Why are we so worried about being “perfect,” and who gets to say what this is, anyway? Well, it worked and I have discovered that as I learned how to disconnect the brain’s version of the “Mental Me” and become aware of my authentic True Self, it is getting quite easy, quite frankly. “Mental Me” is the source of the inner critic voice in the first place.

2. I used to think like most people that the order to achieve goals should be “do, be, have.” I realized that I had it backwards. Actually, our state of being (the “be”) will determine what we do unconsciously and what runs our life is 95% unconscious. If you don’t know how to change your subconscious/unconscious, getting things done or being effective/efficient can be really “hard work.” This is why I felt like a fake. I was trying to “do” so that I would look good and feel good about myself, but in my subconscious I did not really feel in alignment; hence, I felt like a “fake.” Start with authentic being and your life will flow much easier. Now that I am (“be) congruent with “smart, successful and competent,” I feel less stress, get more done in less time, and I don’t worry about “making mistakes” very often. Beside, making mistakes is only “learning”; it’s no big deal. I am worthy because I breathe – how about that! And, my inner critic rarely bothers me.

3. What I “do” is NOT who I “am” (or “be”). When we get this one, workaholism will decline sharply. I was a perfectionistic workaholic avoiding my feelings and trying to find significance and affirmation in my “doing” – my work. I was not dealing with my state of being. Admittedly, it was more difficult for me back then when I did not understand how my brain was hijacking my personal power and I did not know how to retrain my brain to get the inner critic to get on my team instead of being my enemy. I also did not understand the importance of integrating my mind with my heart and taking care of my whole self – spirit, soul and body. What a difference knowing how to do this – and doing it – is making!

Now, I could have given you three things to “do” that may help a bit with dealing with perfectionism. I have discovered, though, that if a person does not start addressing the core issue of self-image or limiting beliefs about “how life is,” just getting the next “3 Steps to Success” action steps will not change your quality of life. You will simply have more “to do.” The next level of personal growth is true inner transformation by learning how to dump the conditioned perceptions that are limiting HOW you see yourself relative to life. I do want to emphasize here the need to have compassion, or at least intend to develop compassion for yourself. When you do, this process actually becomes easier. You will also have more patience and compassion for others.

Personal power and self-image is tied to how we “see” our self, and we can truly change this when we know how. I feel like a new person because I think and believe like a new person. Of course, I am also a better leader, friend, wife and mother, and I enjoy my life more and more. You have more potential than you realize.

Author's Bio: 

Valencia Ray, M.D. teaches business owners and corporate leaders how their amazing brain can actually hijack personal power -- not in the abstract, but in the context of integrating business and personal life. Dr. Ray, a board-certified eye surgeon and medical business owner for over 20 years before selling her practice, shares her own life-changing process. By sharing her story, she helps others to expand their vision and learn that by living with purpose and confidence, it is possible to have a more integrated, healthier lifestyle – with less struggle, more inner peace and more abundance.

For more information and to contact her regarding dynamic, inspirational keynotes, trainings in collaborative leadership and team building, entrepreneurship and coaching programs, visit her website at