Shekinah R of zant On How To Get Past Your Perfectionism And ‘Just Do It’

Authority Magazine Editorial Staff
Authority Magazine
Published in
6 min readMay 14, 2024

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Clearly define what “perfect enough” will be. Have a clear, measurable point when action will be taken, whether you have judged it perfect or not. Put a time and a date on it. Put this time and date in a calendar, tell a friend to keep you accountable, tell your cat, and find as many ways as possible to hold yourself accountable. You can even bribe yourself. Whatever works to get yourself moving forward.

Many successful people are perfectionists. At the same time, they have the ability to say “Done is Better Than Perfect” and just complete and wrap up a project. What is the best way to overcome the stalling and procrastination that perfectionism causes? How does one overcome the fear of potential critique or the fear of not being successful? In this interview series, called “How To Get Past Your Perfectionism And ‘Just Do It’, we are interviewing successful leaders who can share stories and lessons from their experience about “how to overcome the hesitation caused by perfectionism. As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Shekinah R.

Shekinah is a compassionate life coach, nurse, and dedicated humanitarian with a profound commitment to supporting individuals navigating through anxiety, depression, abuse, trauma, grief, PTSD, and more. With extensive experience in healthcare and a deep understanding of mental health challenges, she empowers her clients to reclaim their strength and resilience. Through her holistic approach and unwavering empathy, Shekinah brings hope and healing to those she serves, fostering positive transformations in their lives.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

My struggle with perfectionism might not be unlike yours. It felt as though perfection was constantly defined and enforced upon me. The religion I was raised in threatened my eternal damnation if I wasn’t perfect enough. I was the eldest in a large missionary family with high familial expectations of perfection. Additionally, I lived in an island nation where women were expected to act and dress perfectly or be an outcast, which added to the pressure. This pressure led to physical symptoms of anxiety, such as hives and tremors, which began in kindergarten. Coping skills or tools to get past my perfectionism were never taught nor offered.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“There is no perfection, only life.” Milan Kundera The Unbearable Lightness of Being. I love this quote because as I am learning to let go of perfectionism, I feel the need to have something positive to turn toward. “Life” is a bit broad, but I seem to be able to find it everywhere I look.

Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

While browsing for a children’s book for my daughter, I came across The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Gary Rubinstein and Mark Pett. Little did I know that this story would resonate with me as well. It beautifully describes the internal and external pressures of perfectionism.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

  1. Solution-focused- Choosing to view obstacles as problems that have solutions rather than viewing obstacles as failures.
  2. Action- Choosing not to be immobilized by pain, suffering, and discomfort.
  3. Growth- Choosing to seek out diverse perspectives, immerse myself in books, and invest in education has opened up new possibilities for growth and transformation.

Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Let’s begin with a definition of terms so that each of us and our readers are on the same page. What exactly is a perfectionist? Can you explain?

Perfection is a standard we use to judge worth. A perfectionist rejects anything deemed substandard to the illusion of perfection. It is a subjective perception that varies from person to person, and can not be clearly defined. This illusion of trying to achieve perfection often leads to self-criticism and inaction as we use perfection to judge ourselves or others. Labeling ourselves as a perfectionist is a really amazing way to stay stuck and immobilized. What could we achieve if we pushed past the judgment of perfectionism and pursued our goals with confidence?

The premise of this interview series is to make the assumption that being a perfectionist is not a positive thing. But presumably, seeking perfection can’t be entirely bad. What are the positive aspects of being a perfectionist? Can you give a story or example to explain what you mean?

Becoming aware of our perfectionistic behavior can be a transformative journey. The pursuit of perfection often stems from unresolved issues that require deeper introspection. For instance, sometimes we unknowingly put ourselves in situations that trigger past trauma in an attempt to perfect and overcome the trauma thinking that if we could “just do it perfectly this time,” I won’t be traumatized. This concept, called “trauma mastery,” is explored in more depth in the book Trauma Stewardship by Laura van Dernoot Lipsky and Connie Burk. Another “why” might be a perfectionist effort to relieve our guilt of lack of effort. Whatever the motive, exploring and bringing awareness will help shed light on these thought patterns and begin the process of forward movement.

What are the negative aspects of being a perfectionist? Can you give a story or example to explain what you mean?

To move forward and take action, it is essential to understand why we are seeking perfection. For myself and many of my clients, understanding the underlying motives and thoughts driving our actions can be transformative. I once had a client who had a very achievable goal but had been stuck for years. By delving into the thoughts that paralyzed them, we were able to create freedom and achieve the goal effortlessly.

From your experience or perspective, what are some of the common reasons that cause a perfectionist to “get stuck” and not move forward? Can you explain?

Becoming aware of our thoughts and reactions requires mental strength, but it can be challenging to break free from the comfort of perfectionism. Changing our perception necessitates forming new neural pathways by creating new thoughts through mindfulness. This process is difficult but necessary for personal growth.

Here is the central question of our discussion. What are the five things a perfectionist needs to know to get past their perfectionism and “just do it?” Please share a story or example for each.

When you encounter a challenge, follow these five steps to overcome it and keep moving forward.

First, don’t keep it all in your head. Express your thoughts by journaling, talking things out with a friend, or seeking guidance from a professional.

Next, clearly define what “perfect enough” will be. Have a clear, measurable point when action will be taken, whether you have judged it perfect or not. Put a time and a date on it. Put this time and date in a calendar, tell a friend to keep you accountable, tell your cat, and find as many ways as possible to hold yourself accountable. You can even bribe yourself. Whatever works to get yourself moving forward.

Then, identify why you have the need for perfection for this specific challenge. Really let your brain catastrophize as far as it wants to go here. Word vomit on your friend or on the paper.

Decide on the reward you will give yourself once this is completed. Positive reinforcement will make action easier for future accomplishments.

Lastly, reflect on what you’ve learned about yourself throughout this process. Recognize your growth and newfound belief in your abilities. You did it! You actioned something and released it into the world! You are a legend!

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most good to the most people, what would that be?

A movement to peel off the layers of the false self, that we have rightly applied for defense, but now no longer serve. In doing so, we lay down our judgements of ourselves and others.

Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!

I would choose to have lunch with my grandmother. She would cook her delicious enchiladas made with vegetables from her garden. She is a constant source of encouragement and grace when I get trapped by perfection.

How can our readers follow you online?

You can schedule a free 30-minute consultation with me on the zant app! Download, create an account, and search Shekinah to find me. Click here for more information!

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

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