Jane’s constant need for approval and obsession with achieving perfection meant that she put herself under a huge amount of pressure and had no self-confidence.
Jane had always been a quiet girl and people tended to describe her as ‘nice’. This made her feel angry because she didn’t want to be ‘nice’. Jane wanted to be adventurous, exciting and extrovert. She wanted to be able to talk to anyone. She wanted to have the confidence to give her opinion and be able to disagree with an opinion she didn’t like. Instead, she always went along with what other people said because she wanted their approval.
Jane excelled at work and her managers praised her because she did as she was told. They always gave any extra work to Jane because they knew she’d get it done. No matter how much stress it caused her or how many extra hours she had to work unpaid, Jane would always get the work done.
In an attempt to improve her confidence, Jane joined Toastmasters International, an organisation that develops people’s public speaking and leadership skills. However, despite the encouragement of her fellow members, week after week Jane sat and listened to the others. She was too afraid to speak, even in a supportive environment.
Jane wanted everything to be perfect; she worked hard to make her home, her marriage, her body, her looks, her cooking and her holidays perfect. She always felt let down because, in her eyes, she could never achieve perfection.
Things came to a head when she suspected her husband was having an affair. True to form, Jane was too afraid to say anything, do anything or even contemplate the possible consequences.
Of course, she blamed herself; she hadn’t done enough to look good and be the perfect wife or she wasn’t exciting enough in bed. Why else would her husband look elsewhere?
When I started working with Jane to tackle her lack of self-acceptance, self-belief and self-confidence, we began to make progress. We focused on overcoming her need for approval and to be liked. She had to learn to be true to herself and understand that people would love her for who she is.
It was when we worked on freeing Jane of her desire to be perfect that we had a major breakthrough and she finally realised that she’s perfect just the way she is.
From that point onwards, Jane was free. She divorced her cheating husband and has now found her soul mate. She is starting her own public relations business, and she now speaks at exhibitions and seminars about how to generate positive publicity for your business.
Jane desperately tried to be the most perfect version of herself that she could be and felt that she had to adopt a different persona to achieve that. It was only when we freed Jane from her fear of not being perfect that she realised that she’s already the best Jane she can be.