We all can be our own worst enemies at times. You know, getting in our own way when we really want to move forward or up or sideways or diagonally or somewhere.
After years of knowing that I’m really hard on myself but not understanding why I keep getting in my own way, I finally reached a point a year or so ago where I could own the perfectionist tag. I never identified with it before. That was ‘other’ people.
What does perfectionism do for me?
Being a perfectionist has led me to achieve some neat things, usually for other people’s benefit rather than my own. And I mean that in a good way – I love doing things to benefit others and gain a lot of satisfaction from it.
Being willing to ‘work myself to death’ has enabled me to be part of some fabulous experiences. But not be able to fully embrace them as I was so exhausted and stressed.
What else does perfectionism look like for me?
The need for something to be perfect often means I don’t start something. What might people think? What abuse might my inner critic hurl at me?
Or I won’t finish something. I’ll enthusiastically start an ecourse or challenge but if I get behind or miss a day or two, I’ll throw in the towel as I’m not doing it ‘properly’.
I can lose sight of the big picture by having to get a small component perfect and forgetting what the main aim was.
Never ending self imposed pressure.
Burn out. Exhaustion. Ill health.
Combined with a seemingly never-ending run of stressful events, my perfectionism has led to my body screaming so loud for attention that I had no choice but to stop and pay close attention.
Why perfectly imperfect?
Perfection is a myth.
There is always something more that could be done. Be improved. Be polished. There are an infinite number of possibilities to explore. But are they needed? What is enough? What does perfect actually look like?
Would I love my son any differently depending on whether or not he was ‘perfect’?. Hell no!! In fact, it’s his ‘imperfections’, his unique characteristics that make him so perfect. Just as he is.
A major turning point for me was learning to accept that I am enough. Just as I am. No improvements needed. Not when I lose the baby weight that has never left. Not when I get my house looking like a display home. Not when…
Perfectly imperfect means good enough. Truly enough, not with an undercurrent of guilt.
Perfectly imperfect is what makes us unique.
It is accepting who and what we are. Completely. Not begrudgingly.
Embracing perfectly imperfect has been enormously liberating. Am I perfect at it? Nope. In fact, I have really struggled with getting this blog post ‘perfect’ before pressing publish. It’s taken a fortnight longer than I had planned.
But do you know what, I’ll remind myself that it’s good enough and let it go. I’m happy being perfectly imperfect. It’s so much easier.
Are you a recovering perfectionist? How do you embrace being perfectly imperfect?