“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself” -Anna Quindlen
It isn’t easy to loosen the grip on the controls of life. Couple that, with having a real honest look at yourself, and things can very quickly become unsettled. Yet underneath this uneasiness often sits a whole new layer filled with possibility and excitement just waiting to be unveiled.
I have first-hand experience with perfectionism. At times, it has been an incredible driving force that has pushed me to accomplish things that still to this day amaze me. Unfortunately, it has also served as an attractive disguise that has kept me safe from being vulnerable and open to showing up as the unique person I truly am.
I believe the desire to be ‘perfect’ is not all that uncommon. We are bombarded on a continual basis with information that is distorted. From airbrushed images plastered in magazines, websites and billboards, to unrealistic societal measures of what we are fed to believe success and happiness should look like; it is no wonder some of us enter into the world of rigidity and perfectionistic tendencies.
I entered into the realm of perfectionism mainly as a people pleasing tactic. I guess I learned if I was careful to say and do what would be well received by others around me, then there would be no reason for them to dislike me. Then I would be safe and nobody would tell me I was doing things wrong. This is such a dangerous world to walk in, because while it initially feels good to be accepted and liked by the people we are surrounded by, it comes with an enormous cost – we sacrifice our authenticity and true spirit as a result.
It is extremely difficult to undo the actions and right the relationships that have been founded upon these false premises. I found it a real challenge when I began the journey of practicing using my authentic voice. It was hard because what I had to say and share wasn’t always well received by people around me, even some of the closest people. At first, it was much more appealing to revert back to saying what others wanted to hear and playing the part of the perfect friend, mother, daughter, wife etc., but over time it became harder and harder to ignore the person that was yearning to be set free.
I believe the true spirit of who we are will steer us down the path that is most right for us at the time. But, in order for this to actually happen, we must be willing to be honest with ourselves and open to hearing our inner voice and deepest desires. I have found that in order to travel down the path of authenticity and becoming who I truly am, I have had to release my grip on worrying what others may think or how they will view me. It hasn’t been an easy thing to do and at times it still can be a struggle, but the more I practice it the more liberated I feel.
On a day to day level, it means doing the things that fill me up first before worrying about others. Daily exercise is something that I find extremely fulfilling. Whether it’s running, yoga or getting out in nature, moving my body is like a daily renewal that leaves me feeling alive and well.
Breaking free from the perfectionist mentality means not beating up on myself if I have a bad day or if things aren’t unfolding as I expected or hoped. It also means reaching out to my trusted people that know and love me when I need that extra support.
Connection with others is something I now know is important to me. I’m grateful to have had the realization that I can reach out and create these opportunities in my life. When I feel secluded or in solitude for too long, I begin reverting back to my perfectionistic tendencies by trying to make external things around me perfect so that I don’t have to deal with what is going on internally.
I believe that having the willingness to be honest with ourselves about what it is we truly need on a daily basis, is essential in overcoming the desire to be perfect or different than we really are.
Breaking free from perfectionism is a journey in itself, but it’s one that is so worth travelling down as it provides incredibly rich learning and joy. If you haven’t already, I definitely recommend breaking free.
xo ❤ Emily
If you are interested in connecting to who you are on a deeper level, or if you would like to create a self-care and self-love practice — come on over and join our growing community within my E-Course, ‘Fall In Love With Your Life, One Week at a Time’. It is a chance to create your own life practice in a way that is meaningful to you.❤