The Energy Cost of Perfectionism

I have been in conversation with a number of people recently about the energy cost of being a perfectionist, and a new twist on this issue came to me today in the form of a compliment given to me by a client. She is an excellent CST therapist herself, if a bit of a self-professed perfectionist at times, and she remarked about halfway through our session, “I learn so much from you as you work on me. You don’t have to do everything perfectly – and my system releases beautifully anyway. Plus you are able to treat more places, because you don’t have to wait for everything to be done perfectly before you move on.”

In that moment I realized that my inner dialogue with the body through my hands, is always looking for the signal telling me, “That’s good enough, we can take it from here.” I don’t push beyond that point or hang on for too long. It would be a waste of energy on my part, as well as a slap in the face of the body’s intelligence. When it tells me to let go, I do it. I don’t second guess myself or the person’s system.

It really comes down to remembering that in practicing bodywork we are interacting with a living system, with its own cellular intelligence, that absolutely has the capacity to continue and perhaps complete the healing process on our tables and long after they leave our offices. If we take too much responsibility for their healing process, that’s when the over-doing perfectionist tendencies creep back in. And, the ultimate cost of that is exhaustion – mentally, emotionally and physically.

I want to thank my client for this insight today – it is so simple, and yet so profound. And, enjoy!


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