I am a recovering perfectionist.
I basically have a gold medal in perfectionism.
Not that I’ve ever came close to being perfect, but I had an internal program that told me I should be.
My quest for perfection didn’t make me perfect, but it did bring me a whole lot of misery.
I recognize that I am not alone in this. Perfectionism is rampant in our image-obsessed, achievement-driven society. I have nothing against self-improvement, but when we don’t deprogram ourselves from perfectionism, it doesn’t matter how many improvements we make. It will never be enough.
Because perfect is not only impossible, it’s un-human.
Not only does perfectionism make us miserable on the inside, it also it makes it hard to live life on the outside.
How satisfying is it to be a student when nothing below an A is acceptable?
How hard is it to enjoy a hobby when nothing less than a perfect outcome will do?
And how hard is it to be in relationships when we are unable to receive feedback without crumbling or getting defensive?
Perfectionism only brings us misery, discomfort, constant feelings of inadequacy or incompetence. However, while our culture, families, teachers, or coaches might instill in us the need to be perfect, it is within our power to let go of that need. We hold the key.
You are good enough.
Let good enough be the new perfect.
Perfectionism is just an endless quest for the worst parts of ourselves.
It’s the part that keeps telling us that nothing we do will ever be good enough and we need to keep trying and trying and trying without ever reaching what we believe will make us good enough.
Perfectionism keeps moving the goal further and further away.
In The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, Brené Brown says,
“Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgment, and shame. It’s a shield. It’s a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from flight.”
Perfection is a moving target. It’s an illusion.
Perfection is weighing us down.
Free yourself from perfectionism.
You are good enough.