I was in a coaching session with a client yesterday. A client who also had an extreme religious upbringing. She was telling me about how compelled she was to go out of her way to do something for her kid.

“I have such a need to do things well,” she said. “I don’t know why I do, but I do.”

I must admit, I laughed out loud.

“You don’t know why you have that need?” I asked her.

She looked at me (through the Zoom camera) and began to laugh as well.

“I said that, didn’t I?” she asked.

“Yeah,” I responded. “Yeah, you did, and I have NO idea where that compelling need to do things really, really well came from…”

I was joking, and she knew it. We both recognized that that compelling need was a direct result of her extreme religious upbringing. I have that compelling need as well. As I’ve admitted many times now, my brother once called out for even trying to do “not perfect” perfectly.

Later in our session, I asked my client to sit with how she could let it be okay that she had that compelling need to do everything well. That’s when she – okay we – began to cry. I asked her that, and she teared up. She told me she teared up, and I teared up as well.

Because coupled with the compelling need to do things really, really well is the knowledge that the compelling need no longer serves us, so then we invariably beat ourselves up for STILL having that compelling need, because “we should know better than that.”

Damn, it’s a cage.

I was in my yoga class this morning, trying hard not to try too hard at it, and I realized that I am still…again…now trying hard – really “feckin” hard at way too much. And once again it’s time for me to stop trying. I’m trying hard to do things really, really well and to get things really, really right. Or actually, for me, it’s not about doing things well. It’s about being my best, most evolved, most perfected self…and taking care of everything and everyone…without realizing I’m doing it.

Luckily for me, I’d just had my session with my client yesterday, so it wasn’t too long an episode of beating myself up for still trying so hard before I remembered to let it be okay that I still, without realizing it, kick into over-gear, over-do, and my Mighty Mouse complex.

Of course I do. It was deeply, intentionally, carved into me when I was young.

So, for today, I have, once again, my hand on my heart. I’m breathing and noticing my yellow birds (THANK YOU UNIVERSE!!!). I’m letting it be okay that I’m still feckin’ trying so damn hard.

And I’m letting go. And letting go again. And letting go again.

How about you?

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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