Confessions of a Recovering Perfectionist

October 4, 2015

I have a confession to make: I’m a perfectionist. It took me 24 years to realize this, but now that I have I’m seeing the many ways this pressure I put on myself creates more problems than it solves. It’s true, I give the world permission to make mistakes and be less than perfect but I still expect perfection from myself. It’s frustrating and, honestly, suffocating. That being said, this is the advice I’m giving myself (sometimes more than once) daily:

  1. You are stronger and more powerful than you realize.  You can add brave to that, too. You are far more capable than you can understand at this moment. Just know that you already have everything you need to be exactly who you dream of becoming. There may be pain and frustration (or, in my case, lots of crying and dramatic phone calls) but you will ultimately get through. Keep pushing. Don’t give up.
  2. It’s okay to say no! Being your most fearless you means focusing on what you truly want to become, and taking offers that align with that vision. You don’t have to be everything to everyone. Saying “no”, while scary, can be extremely empowering.
  3. You do not have to have all the answers all the time. It’s literally impossible. Make mistakes and ask questions. (Don’t worry, I’m still working on this one, too).
  4. Confidence is a journey, not a destination. Our confidence grows as we continue to let ourselves grow. Some days will challenge you to work your confidence muscle. Be brave enough to lift that weight.
  5. Be you. Do you. Forget the rest.
  6. If you believe you can do it, it doesn’t matter what anyone else says
  7. Surround yourself with people who support your crazy ideas. When you start second-guessing yourself or doubting your ability, they’ll be the relationships you call upon to carry you through.
  8. Take care of yourself. Living your best life means having fun and staying healthy in every way. Give yourself a break, have fun, eat chocolate, dance, play, sleep, relax…find (and keep) your balance.
  9. Perfect doesn’t exist. The pursuit of perfection is exhausting and fruitless. Do your best and give it all you’ve got. That’s all you can do.
  10. Take one brave step. That’s all you have to do. Take one step at a time and you’ll walk your way to extraordinary.

It isn’t about being perfect. It’s about doing a little bit better than you did yesterday; it’s about evolving. I’m still learning how to let go of the pressure to be “perfect”. It’s not easy, but I’m working on it. What would you add to this list?