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We all have an inner perfectionist inside us. The question is, is your perfectionist in balance with your authentic self, or does it rule your life?

Here are a few indicators that your perfectionist is out of control:
• When preparing for a presentation, you practice it so many times that it no longer feels fresh.
• You regularly find yourself wanting to take just one more training before launching that new business direction or asking for a promotion.
• When marketing yourself, you are most comfortable using a formal professional style regardless of your audience.
• You have difficulty speaking up for yourself because you’re afraid you’ll say the wrong thing.

In contrast, imagine allowing your authentic self to be expressed:
• You experiment with a few different ways to deliver a presentation within a structured outline, and trust that what feels right will emerge to fit the audience in the moment.
• When you complete a training, you are excited to put it immediately into practice.
• You use a warm engaging marketing style with your own personal quirks.
• You speak up for yourself when you know it is the right thing to do, despite not knowing how your words will land.

If you are like most of us, you experience a longing to be more authentic, but it may not feel safe to do so. How do you create the inner safety to be more authentic?

See if you can get in touch with the part of you that doesn’t feel safe being authentic. What does it feel like? What would you call it? Does it feel like a young child, perhaps connecting back to a time when you were first ridiculed and decided to never again reveal your vulnerable self?

Imagine having a conversation with that inner child. Re-parent them with loving kindness and see what they need to feel safe. Often the inner child is trapped in time and has not experienced you as a resilient capable adult. Reassure that child that you now have much more resilient capacity to express in the world, and can take constructive feedback in stride and learn from it.

Continue developing the relationship with your inner child, experiment with new approaches one step at a time, and you will enjoy the benefits of a more integrated authentic self out in the world!