How To Not Be a Perfectionist
Three ways to help you overcome perfectionism
I have started and stopped this blog too many times to count. The perfectionist in me never allowed me to fully put my whole self into this blog if it wasn’t perfect. If the layout wasn’t right, if the pictures weren’t exactly how I pictured them, if my writing wasn’t witty enough, I would scratch the whole thing! I remember being a kid and not liking my outfit or not wanting to turn in a paper because it didn’t come out exactly as I pictured it. You guys, I cried the first time I got a B in English class. (Have you ever heard of anything more ridiculous?) I was a stickler and if it wasn’t perfect, I didn’t want it! Unfortunately, this has held me back from many goals and opportunities. I have missed events, invitations to pretty cool opportunities, and on several occasions missed a chance to talk to the “right people” in my industry because I wasn’t feeling ONE part of how I looked. Talk about ridiculous! A few months ago I decided that it had to stop. No, I’m not perfect, my blog isn’t perfect, and sometimes (though I hate to admit this) my outfit isn’t perfect. (GASP)! Coming to the realization that I WILL NEVER BE PERFECT was a long road but I made that journey and I’m here now. It truly has taken years to get here but it took a lot of soul-searching, and years of my husband telling me how awesome I actually am, to realize the beauty in imperfection. I had to get off of Perfectionist Island and invite myself to the imperfect mainland. I used these THREE steps to knock me into reality.
STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS
I’m too fat.
I’m too skinny.
I’m too tall.
I’m too short.
I think her cheekbones are higher than mine.
My hair isn’t long enough.
My house isn’t as organized as hers.
My car is too old.
I’m too BLAH BLAH BLAH…
Stop sis, just stop. I was so guilty of this. (who isn’t) The operative words in these self-loathing thoughts are “ I” and “my”. It’s your path sis, your way of life, and however, you do things in life is perfect for you. I remember watching an interview with Janet Jackson a few years ago and the person interviewing her asked her how she felt about being a sex symbol. Her answer shocked me! She didn’t own her sex symbol status instead, she mentioned her fluctuating weight, compared herself to other singers, and pointed out other things she wasn’t happy with about herself. I was confused. This was JANET JACKSON! (FULL STOP.) How could she not realize how hot she was! That’s when I realized that nobody is safe on perfectionist island! I have compared myself to Janet Jackson on many occasions (remember her in That’s the way love goes video? Hello abs! ) I didn’t understand what she didn’t see. This showed me that the “perfect people” we compare ourselves to not only aren’t perfect, but they compare themselves to other people! MIND BLOWN! Get out of your own head and own your imperfections!
PROGESSION OVER PERFECTION.
When my husband first said this to me my exact words were “Nope, that’s dumb, everything has to be perfect!” As I write this now and think about that situation I have to laugh at myself. For one thing, why did I tell my AMAZING husband that his idea was dumb? Can I blame that on P.M.S? (Sorry babe.) Additionally, did I not go to college? The only word I could use to describe the situation was “dumb”? Ha! But most importantly, why would I think anything could be perfect without practice, diligence, and extreme effort? I would do many things once and give up because it wasn’t impeccable. I would want the end goal but didn’t celebrate the mini accomplishments it took to get there. In fact, I would skip them and just expect everything to be flawless. I’ve learned that what works for me is setting mini goals to get to the big goal. I write down my goals for the day, week, month, and year. This way I get that satisfied feeling of accomplishment, the task isn’t as overwhelming, and I see the PROGRESSION. I realize that nothing is perfect, but I worked hard to get it there! Pace yourself, and celebrate the wins!
IT’S NOT THAT DEEP SIS
Ok, so this was the hardest for me because I feel everything and take many things to heart. If I wasn’t absolutely perfect on a diet, homework assignment, or even if my eyeliner wasn’t the same on each eye I questioned my very existence. Why can’t I stop eating? I’ll never drop these 15 pounds. Why can’t I find the exact words for this paper? I’m going to fail this class! I don’t understand why I can’t get this eyeliner like hers I look ridiculous! In all these very real instances I was doing too much! I went from zero to a hundred real quick and guess what? I dropped the 15 pounds (gained it back but that’s another post) past the class with an “A” and Benefit Cosmetics “They’re Real Push Up” eyeliner sorted my whole eyeliner situation out. So was it really that deep sis? Listen, I know at the moment on perfectionist island you feel stranded and nothing will do unless it’s unflawed. But here is a reality check for ya! Anything you do will be flawed. Unless you are a heavenly body you are imperfect. Ask yourself three questions. Did you work your hardest? Can this mistake be rectified? Am I Jesus in heaven? The answers are usually are, yes, somehow, and no but I know his daddy (insert praise dance here). So before you throw in the towel ask yourself. Is it that deep sis?
Have you been stuck on perfectionist island? When will you decide to book a one-way ticket to the mainland to join the rest of us? It’s time for you to accept who you are, where you are, and when you are. Leave a comment below about your journey.
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