Self Matters

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Getting from Perfection To Realism


Diane says she has a fear of being imperfect " of being "found out" that she doesn't have it all together.

"I work really hard at creating the illusion that everything's fine, but inside there's a lot of turmoil," she says. "I can't make a decision because other people might not approve. I don't have the courage to say 'This is what I want and what I want to do,' so I rely on other people."

She traces her indecision back to a bad haircut she got when she was 8, at which point she had a confidence crisis, and decided she couldn't trust herself to make good decisions.

Now she's afraid she's passing on her insecurity and need to be perfect to her daughter, and she turns to Dr. Phil for help.


Here's his advice:

  • "Do you expect everyone else to be perfect?" asks Dr. Phil. If not, isn't it condescending to hold yourself to one standard, while you let everyone else grovel in mediocrity? Why do you have to be above everyone else?

  • Ask yourself: What worries you about making a decision? Who decides if it's the "wrong" one?

  • It's impossible to please everyone. If that's the target you've been aiming for, remind yourself that it's a moving target. No wonder you get nervous or insecure when you make decisions! Quit "dancin' in this world for somebody else," says Dr. Phil. You waste a lot of energy trying to guess at what everyone else wants.

  • The most powerful influence in any child's life is the same-sex parent. Recognize that your actions significantly affect your daughter. Teach her to not waste any time finding out who she is and appreciating herself. Also, if you love your daughter, take care of her mom.

  • In the history of the entire world, there has never been and will never again be another you. Wouldn't it be tragic if you never let that person see the light of day? Or if your daughter never got to know that person?

  • Tell yourself you're taking your power back. Instead of second-guessing yourself, give yourself permission to get to know yourself. Discover what you want, what you need, who you are, and how to give that a healthy expression. Make that your mission.

  • From The Show