September is my birthday month, and as a Virgo, that has meant that I have a lot of personality traits I have learned to love.
- My perfectionist – That helps me set and meet high standards, but won’t let me do something if I’m not sure I can do it just right.
- My detail-oriented mind – that keeps track of so many moving parts, but gets in the way of seeing the bigger picture.
- My optionizer – That lets me pick up on so many amazing opportunities, but leads me to avoid making decisions in case there’s something better I have not thought of yet.
I want to share some of the more powerful Virgo traits as we move into the fall season.
Perfectionism – My perfectionism shines because it gives me clear goals to strive for, and until I reach that goal it keeps me on track. However, perfectionism has brought along procrastination as a constant companion. I can’t remember how many times I have heard that procrastination is bad, where I’ve been told to Just Do It. Thinking there is something wrong with me for not being able to take action. If I feel that I can’t reach my clear goals I won’t start! It has been a journey learning to embrace my inner perfectionist, and truly love her for her deep desire to do it right, and soothe her fear of doing it wrong. This has opened up new portals of learning to compromise, and understand that it takes 20% of my time to get whatever I am working on to 80% done and that it takes 80% of the time to get it perfect. I have come to fully embrace that 85% done is perfect.
- Take an inventory of what you do when you procrastinate. Do you scroll on Tik Tok, do you organize your closet (that is me!), do you feel compelled to make phone calls? When you notice that you are engaging in your favorite procrastination activity, set a timer for 10 min and continue with it until the timer goes off, and then do what it is you are procrastinating on.
Detail Oriented Mind – The golden aspect of the detailed oriented mind is an urge to know more, to understand how the world works. This adds valuable perspective to everything you do. When our mind is getting snowed in on the minor details, however, it is usually an unconscious fear that drives it. If I focus on balancing my checkbook to the penny, I don’t have to focus on the fact that there is not enough money in the bank. I might proofread my emails several times before I hit send leading to delays in communication. Our unconscious mind is our protector, and sometimes it weighs the danger of “not communicating on time” as less threatening than “hearing a no that might imply you’re not good enough.” This can be really frustrating and feel counterintuitive, but that frustration is a sign that you’re at the edge of growth. If you have a detail that bogs you down it’s time to look up and ask yourself what might be threatening to you in the big picture.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions and inspect the people and places you encounter in your everyday life and beyond. Your curious nature allows you to gather information and find solutions to your problems.
- If you find you’re stuck on nit-picking something specific, put it down and look around. Ask yourself what “big picture” you’re avoiding looking at, and why.
Optionizer – There are no closed paths when my optionizer is running, there’s always another point of view or choice to be made that can get me where I want to go. I can always pivot and try something else if what I have isn’t working. This part of my personality sometimes gets me in trouble, it can totally stop me in my tracks from making any kind of decision out of fear that there is a better one I haven’t thought of or discovered yet. “I just need to do some more research!” Is my optionizers mantra. Often I “keep my options open” and miss great opportunities because I didn’t want to make a decision.
Sometimes the optionizer gives us so much information it paralyzes us. There are so many “what if” or “how about” that we lose sight of what it is we’re trying to do. When you’re so spun around by options its time to go back to “what am I trying to do, and how do I want to do it?” It doesn’t matter if you choose the best option, just that you start doing something. It’s easier to change directions when you’re moving than when you’re not.
- No decision is permanent. Commit to an option right now and know that you can re-decide and do something else if you want or need to.
- If you have too many options, write down the pros and cons for each option, and often while doing that the answer will become clear to you. If nothing else, just pick one! Once you’re in motion new options will come to you to get you on the right path.
Virgo is an Earth sign. It allows you to connect deeply to the earth, to your body, and to the wisdom that lives in each.
Choose 2 or 3 prompts for self inquiry
- Take a moment and connect with your breath. Notice a sensation somewhere in your body and just be with it. Now journal about this sensation, where is it? What is it doing? Does it have a color/texture/shape? Does it have a message for you?
- Are there things that have been holding me back from going for my dreams?
- Where can I set some boundaries for the things that are no longer serving me in order to focus on what I desire?
- Are there things that I can forgive myself for and let go of?
- How can I embrace change? Where have I been resisting change and why?
- How can I create strategies and practices that support me and help me thrive?