Perfectionists speak #5: Kristi Hrivnak

Photo courtesy of Wild Eyed Photography

I “met” Kristi after coming across her Instagram page a few years ago and finding a familiar voice in her posts on inner work, coaching and self-development. I say met because we have never seen each other in person; Kristi living in Canada and me in Australia. But I’ve found in my experience that you don’t need to be in someone’s presence to make a connection.

I turned to Kristi for her strength as a coach, but also her experience as a human being. She has lived a great deal in a short time and I felt that she could help me with my own journey. I have loved working with Kristi and being able to experience the love and passion she brings to her vocation. It was this that made me think she would like to speak about perfectionism and what her experience looked and felt like. She does not disappoint.

I always enjoy seeing where Kristi’s path leads, so it is no surprise that she is involved in a fantastic new project to help others. Wherever you are in the world please take a moment to read about how she is helping with her pilot program for healing.

Over to Kristi...

1. What areas of your life do you experience perfectionism in?

In the past, I would notice my perfectionism in external things like sport technique, how I presented myself and artistic creations. Over time, this has shifted. I have become way more accepting of external aspects of life being imperfect and instead find myself hyper focusing on the internal aspects of the mind, body and soul. There still remains a part of me that wants the inner alignment of thoughts, feelings and actions to be “perfect” when ironically it already is perfect from a soul perspective.

2. How does it present itself in these areas?

Most obviously it presents itself through the emotional body. I might notice or become aware of an energy within me, a feeling of some sort in my body and find myself wanting to clear the feeling or release the feeling to ‘get back’ to some ideal state of being where everything is clear and peaceful.

3. Thinking of these areas of your life how would you say perfectionism has impacted them?

Perfectionism has often created a never-ending cycle of needing to get to some elusive ‘place’ or internal destination, which draws me out of the present moment and into the hamster wheel of life. There is and always will be more feelings to feel, more actions to take and more thoughts to think. Being in a constant state of working or striving to correct things has robbed countless moments of presence from my life.

4. Has it impacted other areas of your life as a result?

I am sure every area of my life at some point has been impacted by the internal impulse of perfectionism. But with time, I have found ways of harnessing the benefits of this trait and creating an internal structure to lead the perfectionist in me instead of being led BY the perfectionist in me.

5. Where do you think your perfectionism comes from?

As a child, from the time I learned about the concepts of good and bad this gave life to my perfectionism. I desperately wanted to be a “good girl” but as a sensitive child with big emotions I was hyper-aware of anything within me that did not fit the “good girl” definition. So began the vicious cycle of making it my life’s mission to suppress and cover up all that was “bad”. Throw in some abandonment wounding and a lack of love in the way that I craved it and well, that’s a perfect recipe to create a perfectionist persona within.

6. What have you tried to manage your perfectionism?

What has worked for me is to acknowledge the perfectionist within and take a strong lead with my conscious awareness. Having inner boundaries to declare what is “enough” is always key or else the perfectionist will want to go forever, fixing, changing, adjusting. The internal “no” is a very important aspect for the perfectionist. The perfectionist within needs to be guided with a firm word, a clear inner structure and the ability to draw the line in a loving way.

7. What do you see as the positives and negatives of perfectionism?

I honestly love the perfectionist in me. This part of me is responsible for the high level of quality that I bring to everything I do. This part of me has helped me create things that I have been wildly impressed with. This part of me has helped me see what I am truly capable of. The negative side surfaces when I get seduced by the wounded aspect of the perfectionist. This can lead to an unconscious cycle of needing to fuel the aspect of me that doesn’t feel worthy. Embracing the perfectionist from a place of wholeness, worthiness and conscious awareness is a secret weapon for success. Getting seduced by the perfectionist from a place of fear or lack is where things begin to fall apart.

If you'd like to learn more about what Kristi does head over to her Instagram or Facebook for more details: