Tag Archives: fear

Perfectionism – What Fear is Driving You?

Perfectionism - What Fear is Driving You

At its root, perfectionism isn’t really about a deep love of being meticulous.
It’s about fear. Fear of making a mistake. Fear of disappointing others. Fear of failure.                                                                            Fear of success.                                                                                                                                                                                   Michael Law

The above quote from Michael Law sums up what is at the heart of perfectionism. It’s about fear in all its forms. Fear of rejection, fear of not being good enough or knowing enough, fear of doing it wrong or being wrong can be added to the above list.

Dressed to perfectionThe perfectionist fears what others may think of them if they don’t get it right and expends a lot of energy trying to be perfect. In some cases they may not even know the person or people they are trying to impress. For example they may have to dress perfectly, have not a hair out of place and make up just so before they can run out the door for a quick trip to the shops.

AnxietyThe perfectionist is always judging themselves as not being good enough and may have high standards for themselves and for others. Standards that are impossible for themselves and others to live up to. They then feel let down by others and themselves when those standards are not met. They may become angry, frustrated, critical and blame others and perhaps feel depressed and guilty that they can’t live up to these self-imposed impossible standards. They may lash out at others and then feel guilty. Their moods may drive others away leaving them feeling alone and perhaps abandoned.

Perfectionism can also be about control. Controlling how others feel about them and in some cases controlling others. Wanting others to do something perfectly can be a form of control. Always wanting to do something yourself and not allowing others to try can be a form of control. For example, showing someone how to do something at work and then taking over again because they don’t do it to your exacting standards.

Perfectionism can also be a form of procrastination. You may give up and not even start because you feel that you will never get it perfect. You may start but never complete the project because you need to keep on trying to find or do the one thing that will make it perfect in your eyes when for everyone else the project is finished or fine as it is.

controlling thoughtsYou may push yourself and try to over achieve in your quest for perfection ignoring your own needs and those of your family and friends. You focus on what’s wrong and the negative aspects rather than what’s right. You spend time on perfecting a project at the expense of your relationship with your family, friends and your health. When all you can see is the negative it’s time to change your perspective and see what’s good in your world. It can also be time to get another’s perspective on what’s great about your life or project.

Perfectionism is about your ideas of how things should be and your beliefs surrounding them. Is there a should in your life that you can let go of? Can you lower your expectations a bit? What would happen if you did?

perfection questionHow has being a perfectionist benefited you? There is always a benefit. Take the time to carefully consider the benefits and if the time and energy you are putting into being a perfectionist or doing something perfectly is worth it.

Finally consider this. It is often our perceived imperfections that people love. What do people love about you? If you don’t know, ask.

Essential Oils
Use one or a blend of the following essential oils in a vaporiser, massage or anointing oil to help you with your issues surrounding perfectionism.

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)  – to help you bring a little more balance into your life especially if you are feeling stressed due to a work life imbalance
German chamomile ( Matricaria recutita) – to help you let go of your high expectations, acknowledge your limitations and ask for help and support when you need it
Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) – to help you with your high expectations of yourself and others and the feelings of guilt, frustration and blame surrounding them when they are not met. If you comfort eat grapefruit can be helpful.
Juniper (Juniperus communis) – to help clear the negative thinking surrounding fear of failure
Teatree (Melaleuca alternifolia) – to help you see another perspective

Jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum/sambac)


“Like the waters of a sweet river, Jasmine penetrates the deepest layers of our soul, opening the doors to our emotions”                   Susanne Fischer Rizzi

Jasmine has a heady perfume loved by many especially the perfumers of France. She also has a long history of use in India.

Jasmine flowersFamily: Oleaceae

Synonyms: Jasminum officinale, Catalonian jasmine, Spanish jasmine, White jasmine

Aroma: Intensely floral warm sweet and rich with a tea like undertone

Colour: Dark orange but becomes a more reddish brown due to age and oxidization.

Plant: Jasminum grandiflorum is a semi evergreen deciduous vine with masses of fragrant single white flowers that bloom from spring to autumn.

Jasmine sambacJasminum sambac is an evergreen shrub that can reach up to 5 feet in height in a pot but when grown in shade is more like a vine.

Main Growing Areas: Jasminum grandiflorum is native to Iran, Kashmir and Afghanistan but is also grown commercially in France, Italy, Morocco, Egypt, Japan and Turkey. Jasminum sambac is native to Southern India

Major Constituents: Benzyl benzoate, benzyl acetate, linalool (higher in j.sambac), benzyl alcohol, cis-jasmone, indole, eugenol, alpha-farnesene (higher in j.sambac) and methyl jasmonate. Unfortunately due to its high cost jasmine is often adulterated with benzyl acetate and benzyl benzoate.

Note: Pure jasmine essential oil is expensive but it is possible to buy her diluted 3 or 5% in jojoba or other carrier oils. I prefer her in jojoba as jojoba being a wax and not an oil does not go rancid over time. This allows you to experience the properties of jasmine without the expense.

Interesting snippets:
It takes 8 million blossoms to produce one kilo of absolute with an experienced picker able to pick between 10,000 and 15,000 blossoms a night.

In India Jasmine is called “queen of the night” or “moonshine in the garden.”

Joy-perfumeIn India, Jasmine is mixed with sandalwood oil creating an attar of jasmine.

The perfume Joy by Jean Patou has pure jasmine among its ingredients.

Part of Plant used /Extraction: Flower. In the past jasmine essential oil was obtained through enfleurage. Today most jasmine absolute is obtained in a process whereby solvents such as hexane, pentane, petroleum and ether are used to remove the volatile and non-volatile substances from the flowers before being heated to boil off the solvents producing the concrete. Next the concrete is slowly warmed with alcohol to melting point allowing the essential oil, waxes and fixed oils to dissolve in the alcohol which is than cooled, filtered and distilled to remove all the traces of the alcohol resulting in what is called the absolute.

To give the highest yield the process must begin as soon as possible after picking. 1000 kg of jasmine blossoms will produce between 2.6 and 2.8 kg of concrete which will then yield between 1.5 and 1.7 kg of absolute.

Therapeutic actions: Said to help relieve pain and strengthen contractions during the early stages of labour as well as assisting the expulsion of the placenta after delivery.  Helpful in relieving the spasms and cramps in painful and delayed periods. Insomnia

Emotional and Spiritual: Mental fatigue, anxiety, restlessness

Valerie Ann Worwood writes that it has been said that jasmine has the ability to call the angelic realms close, and to be able to transmit our soul’s joy and love to the universe, if the intent and purpose is carried from a clear and pure heart.

Susanne Fischer Rizzi writes that jasmine penetrates and diminishes fear, not only lightening your mood but it brings euphoria to darkness. It helps to recapture self-confidence and defeat pessimism.

Robbi Zeck advises that when you are faced with seemingly unresolvable emotional challenges and feeling fearful, that Jasmine will dissolve those fears and build trust. She writes to sit with your fears and concerns, taking breath after breath and wait in the stillness for an answer. Prayer and deep faith will open you to trusting yourself, blessing the present and expecting the best.

Gabriel Mojay writes that whenever fear and vulnerability, or anxiety and depression, cut us from our ability to share physical pleasure and affection, jasmine oil can support, reassure and delight.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:

Jasmine                                                      Courtesy of J.Jefferies & K.Osborn

Stop living in the past and enjoy what life is giving you now. Stay present and regain your raw passion for everything in life. Stop worrying what happened yesterday or what is coming tomorrow, simply be and really enjoy what life is about. Release feelings of depression, fear and vulnerability and move to that place where you trust and feel supported. Live and Do what you really want to do.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: I have a passion for life and living
Jasmine Fragrant Change Healing cardContemplations for the Soul:

Jasmine Sambac

Are you feeling stressed, angry, depressed or just plain exhausted mentally and physically?
Are you living your life according to the values of others and wondering who you really are?
Do you lack confidence in your ability to create and bring joy to yourself and others?
It’s time to live, love, create and laugh again on your own terms.
Nurture your passions and yourself.
Reawaken those feelings that have long been forgotten or repressed.
Begin to create the life you want.
Find those who will support you in your creative endeavours and feel the passion and excitement racing through you again.

Safety: Non-irritating, non-sensitizing

Sources: Atterby D, Jasmine Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol. 50 (2011)
Bowles E.J, The A-Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Fischer-Rizzi S, Complete Aromatherapy Handbook. Essential Oils for Radiant Health Sterling Publishing Company (1990)
Hodges C. Contemplations for the Soul (2016)
Hodges C, Fragrant Change Healing Cards (2015)
Jefferies J, Jasmine Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol. 33 (2005)
Jefferies J, Osborn. K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Sydney Essential Oil Company, Harvest: Jasmine Absolute Premium. Oily Winter Edition (2011)
Worwood V.A, The Fragrant Heavens. Doubleday Publishing UK (1999)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

Fear and Essential Oils

Fear and essential oils header

Fear is faith that it won’t work out.
Sister Mary Tricky

Businessman Clasping His Face in HorrorSomeone once said that FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real but I think the quote above is also true. How many times do you not even attempt do something because you’re convinced it won’t work out and you don’t want to face your fear of failure?

Essential oils are very useful to help you deal with your fears and you will find a list of oils to help you below.

Fear is a form of self-preservation that can present as simple consternation, apprehension, dread, panic or terror. When you are feeling panicked your heart races and you breathe more quickly and shallowly. You may feel like running away or conversely be unable to move.

If it is a more chronic form of fear you may feel the above in a milder form or just have a general sense of unease. You may also feel anxious, frustrated and angry.

Fear can show up as perfectionism, procrastination, lack of self-confidence, feeling insecure and fear of failure, losing control, change or being hurt in love. You may forget the words to a speech or turn down invitations to social events due to your fear.

Fear can alert you to real danger but often it is based on emotion rather than fact. For example you may procrastinate because you fear that you will not do something correctly or others may judge you on the results. Perfectionism is also a form of fear based on feeling vulnerable.

Fear can also paralyse your personal growth when it is a reaction to change and transformation. You cannot know how each change will affect you. The mind sees the death of old patterns and beliefs as a mini death and wants to protect you.

Oils that can help with the issues associated with fear include:
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) – Needing to be in control regardless of the consequences, low self-esteem and self-worth.

Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) – Courage to move forward and stand firm in the face of crisis.

Chamomile German (Matricaria recutita) – Helps to let go of fixed expectations, old ideas and beliefs.

Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) – Cope with and accept difficult change.

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) – Perfectionists and those who deny their feelings, panic attacks.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) – Procrastination, self-doubt, restores initiative and determination.

Juniper (Juniperus communis) – Fear of failure, support in challenging situations, strengthens will-power.

Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) – Feels oppressed and suffocated by situations or other people.

Rose (Rosa damascena) – Can’t bear to be left alone due to fears of being abandoned, fear of losing control, insecurity.

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) – Instils courage and self-confidence, strengthens your resolve to overcome obstacles.

Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides) – Face challenges, feels threatened by need to change, calm strength, panic attacks.

Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) – Fear of intimacy, helps you to recognise whether or not the fear is appropriate and deal with it, anger, sense of peace.

The oils can be used singly or in a blend in the bath, vaporiser, in massage or as an anointing oil. Use on the solar plexus and/or wherever else feels appropriate. For details on diluting the oils click here.

You may need to seek professional help for your fear if it is strongly affecting the way you live your life. The oils will help you to change on a soul level if you so desire.