The Recovering Perfectionist


My name is Rachel Duxler and I am a recovering perfectionist. I want to share with you my story of how I became a perfectionist and how it is possible to overcome your shortcomings. I will provide some steps I have taken to shift my mind to trust and let go. How you were raised as a child does not have to be your fate as an adult if you are willing to take the necessary steps to correct it. First of all, I want to say that I know that there are plenty of perfectionists out there, and I want to let you know that you are not alone. You are loved. You are supported. And you are more than enough!

As a child, I always remember feeling like nothing was good enough. Whether it was what I said or did, it was not good enough. I remember speaking my truth as a child to only get yelled at back and getting told I should be ashamed for what I said. One year, I was writing “Thank you” cards for my birthday and I remember redoing one of the cards just for one typo. Mind that I was very young, maybe 5 years old. This was only the beginning. I would constantly find myself doing things I don’t feel comfortable doing and feeling fear for speaking up about it. I had trouble sleeping at night because I would think about the situation repeatedly wishing I had said something. It took me longer to do homework because I would push myself to get as many perfect scores as I could, no matter the cost. This was in order to make up for my difficulty of taking tests. The result was constant anxiety, which makes it more difficult to navigate through life. As I went through high school, college, and my corporate job, it got worse. All of the guilt and shame I put on myself added up. At the age of 25, I hit my wall and I was completely burnt out. I pushed myself in every area of my life to feel like I was good enough. I had Adrenal fatigue. The onset stress of my life with the corporate commute to the city was all I could handle. Thankfully, this was the end to a beautiful new beginning full of gratitude and forgiveness.

Shortly after, I was guided from a friend to a health coaching school, the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN). I felt like it was my calling to do this program because it integrated everything I love to do outside my corporate job, while being able to make a personal transformation and get paid while doing it. Yes, I mean you can get paid while doing this program because you are allowed to coach clients half way through the program. When I started the program last September, I got transferred back to the suburbs with a short commute for my job. The opportunity felt aligned to make the decision with ease. It was definitely the best decision I have ever made in my life. This was the first time I felt like I fully trusted the Universe instead of doubting myself about decisions. It gave me joy to make that decision. I felt excitement, passion, and support. During the course, I learned techniques to help heal my perfectionist ways, like the importance of self care and speaking my truth. I began taking the time to tap into my true desires and feelings of what I truly want in my life. I began forgiving myself for my past and looking forward at the present as a new opportunity for the future. Forgiving myself has definitely been the biggest piece of recovering perfectionism. I felt confident enough to speak up to those people or things that no longer serve me. Finally, I was speaking my truth to people and not focusing on the outcome. The moment I started taking care of myself, the fatigue began to lift and I felt more energy more energy throughout my day to do more activities that bring me joy. Incorporating self care into my day makes me feel like I am enough for what I want to achieve throughout the day and I do not have to push myself to wits end anymore. When I take time for myself throughout the day, I feel like I could do things in much less time while feeling more gratitude for what I have done.  It’s like I’m a whole new person now and I feel like I am ready to take on the world as a Health Coach! I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the journey ahead!

As promised, I want to provide you with some action steps I have learned from my year at IIN that have helped me heal my perfectionism. Before, I felt like I would run through my day like a mad chicken with my head cut off. Now, I can go through my day with intention, purpose, focus, and excitement! Seriously, taking just 10 minutes to meditate or something makes a huge difference. I promise!

1)      Write out a list of positive affirmations and repeat them to yourself daily. Why not put them on your wall too. Decorate your house with them so you read them wherever you are! Check out my YouTube post for some examples of affirmations if you are feeling stuck! This is great for releasing and forgiving a lot of wounds!

2)      Take a few minutes in the morning to write down 3 ways you want to feel each day. For example, today I want to feel gratitude, kind, and gentle. At the end of the day, write down ways you felt each intention.

3)      Take a nice hot 20 minute bath (as hot as you can handle) before bed with epsom salt. Read a book while you’re at it as well!

4)      When you wake up, do this 4 times: Take a deep breath for 4 counts through your nose, hold it in for 7 counts, and exhale out your mouth for 8 counts. When you inhale, make sure you are using your belly, not your chest . This is huge because this helps activate your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest).

5)      Write 5 things you are grateful for each day about yourself. Having gratitude for what you have shows how great your life is.

I hope all of these steps serve you! Comment below to let me know what steps you have taken and how they have worked for you!