“The strongest actions for a woman is to love herself, be herself and shine amongst those who never believed she could.”
Letting go of perfectionism can be one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself. For the last couple of months, I’ve been framing my thoughts and actions – almost like a personal mantra – in accordance with messaging or quotes (like the one above), that really spark something in me. I truly believe that if we as women could fully love ourselves, we would stop wasting so much energy nitpicking at our flaws and start embracing the great qualities that make us who we are.
I’m currently on a journey of letting go of my perfectionist tendencies (I’ve dubbed myself a recovering perfectionist). I know it sounds funny but it’s true. I used to think my need for perfection was a good quality – I almost wore it as a badge of honor! From professional goals to my personal life, being perfect and pleasing everyone around me drove all my actions. Ultimately all it did was leave me completely drained and more than anything, I realized I hadn’t been being true to myself.
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Truth is, perfection is boring – and toxic. For one, if you’re perfect all the time, when would you laugh at the silly things you do or be okay with evolving and growing from past mistakes? That would be never. You also never explore outside your comfort zone and essentially, live a life of illusion based on unrealistic expectations you can’t possibly meet. Everyone around you is “happy,” except for you.
Unrealistic expectations and the desire to always be perfect are a bad combo because you’ll always be working toward something that is unreachable. That’s not to say that striving to be great at your job or a personal goal you’ve set is bad – that’s a great quality to have. I read that excellence is motivating and perfection is demoralizing. With striving for excellence you are open to being wrong and welcome the journey. Perfectionism is refusing anything less than “right” and always about the destination aka the end result.
If you’re still wondering where the fine line between striving for excellence and perfectionism is, just asking yourself these questions can help:
- Do you find it difficult to celebrate your successes because you always feel you could have done more or done it better?
- You need everyone to see you as perfect because you feel they’ll judge you otherwise?
- You procrastinate because you feel an overwhelming sense of pressure to not only get things done perfectly but to succeed?
If you answered yes to all those questions then you’re a perfectionist my dear, and I completely understand where you’re coming from.
One of my biggest takeaways from being on this journey has been to take every fall, every flaw as a chance to grow rather than seeing it as a failure – it really all starts with a change in mindset. You have to be so aware of the way you speak to yourself that you catch the moment you start being negative or debilitating. If you wouldn’t speak to someone in that manner, then why is it okay for you to speak to yourself that way?
We are all imperfect beings, and deciding to put happiness over perfection creates a much better mindset and life. There’s nothing wrong with striving for excellence as long as you realize beautiful moments don’t have to be perfect to beautiful. And the people who can’t take your “bad” with all your “good” probably don’t belong in your life anyway.
Another thing? You can’t be everything to everyone. The one person who should drive your inner compass is yourself and as long as you’re not hurting you or others, do what you love and do it passionately.
I would be lying if I said letting go of this never-ending pursuit of perfection is easy. It’s been huge for me to surrender to something that has driven my life for so long. It’s been one of my biggest struggles and even being able to put it out in the universe is very vulnerable for me. But if you’ve also been frozen by this fear and it helps you just a little bit, then it’s all been worth it.
Thanks for reading today post! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed putting it together. Until my next one!