Are you addicted to perfectionism? This one's for you.
And being honest with you, I'm writing this to myself too. The whole reason The Imperfect Life® was born was through feeling crippled by my lifelong perfectionism, and setting off on my journey to overcome it.
And on this journey, some days have felt beautifully empowering, triumphant and invigorating lemme tell ye, but my gosh, have some days felt testing, uncomfortable and paralysing – and in truth, they still can do at times. But I've come to realise, that's all part of creating and adoring your imperfect life. It's not about trying to live in a constant state of empowerment, triumph and invigoration (that makes you feel like you've a 'perfect life' in that moment), it's about learning to love and accept that with those good days, you have to have the tests, the discomfort and the paralysis too. One doesn't cometh without the othereth!
But when you look at the lives, homes, bodies, careers, relationships (and more!) of others (which only serves to feed the belief that you're not good enough), you also only select to see the 'empowered, triumphant and invigorated' edit of those things. Not the full picture. You sub-consciously set unachievable, perfect self-expectations that your life, home, body, career, relationships (and more!) should match up to theirs. At all times. But they can't match up – 1) because it's not the whole picture, and 2)...
Because perfectionism is a slippery ol' fish.
Y'see, I've learnt that perfectionism's never satisfied. You might make some life changes that seemingly deliver the life, home, body, career, relationships (and more!) that you originally wanted or dreamed of. But when you have them, perfectionism will convince you they're never enough too. You never seem to reach that point where you feel accomplished and proud. Perfection tells you it needs more. And that continually reinforces the belief that you're never good enough the way you are.
Well lemme drop some breaking news on ye 👉🏻 YOU ARE good enough honey. Exactly as you are. (You might just need a lil bit o' help believing it) 😉
So how do we believe it, and truly learn to love it all?
In truth, I'm still working on it 😁 but I'm also a helluva lot further down the line with it than I was a few years ago. So that's progress right?! 💪🏻 And what I have learnt so far, is that there's a bunch of fun stuff you can work on to help you.
Begin listening to your gut.
Sounds so simple right? But learning the skill of dulling down other people's thoughts and advice, quietening your perfectionist-conformity-abider, and cranking up the volume of what your heart truly wants is a massive part of this process. And not just turning up the volume too, but listening and acting on it. Making decisions that are perhaps out of the status quo, beyond 'the norm' for the circles you operate in or breaking some kind of convention, are sometimes the very thing you need to jumpstart your imperfect life journey.
Witnessing first-hand for yourself that 1) you can make decisions for yourself that don't necessarily fit into a perfect little box, and 2) those decisions can bring you joy and contentment on a level you never thought possible – is a crazy-powerful exercise. For me, my journey was jumpstarted through my decision to tear up the script of my life. I had the mortgage, the career, and the long-term relationship, and I chose to leave all three of them to seemingly leave myself with 'nothing' – but I actually felt inside like I had given myself everything. Granted, these particular choices isn't sweeping statement life advice that I think everyone should take, but the process of listening to your own gut and acting on it, absolutely is.
Exercise your self-doubt and worthiness levels.
This is essential, because the perfectionist in you will never allow you to be happy with an imperfect (or perfect!) life, if you're living in a constant state of self-doubt and unworthiness.
We have a bizarre belief that the more perfect we (and our lives) can be, the more valid we, and our lives are. And because we can never quench our perfectionist thirst (it always wants more) – and therefore we never feel good enough, we eternally live in a state of not feeling all that deserving of happiness. We somehow assume that our imperfection is a show of weakness or flaw. But that's b*llocks! 😁 For instance, picture someone you respect and view as 'perfect' – imagine they opened up and were honest about a struggle or otherwise 'imperfect' part of their life 👉🏻 do you gain or lose respect for them? You gain right? You share and feel closer in the imperfection of their humanity. So that's what you need to exercise in your own life.
Share and feel closer to yourself in the imperfection of your own humanity, and your feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness become less and less controlling.
Overcome your limiting fears.
A big chunk of our perfectionist battles come from a monumental fear of failure. That fear that prevents so much magic being created and acted upon because that magic'll never be 'perfect enough' for anyone else to see. That fear that someone else might not agree or like your choices. That fear that revealing our imperfection exposes us as a total failure. (It doesn't).
By living within the constraints of a limiting fear (letting it win), you're depriving yourself of the chance to really experience the things your heart wants you to experience. You're negating the most beautiful opportunities to grow and evolve. And my dear friend, you. don't. have. to. be. perfect. A 'work-in-progress' version of you is just as beautiful, if not more so. And a version of you that cracks on despite their fear, is even more gorge!
Like I said though, it's a journey for sure.
There's no flick-of-the-switch solution, and it takes commitment to the cause to find (and latch on to!) the ladyballs to trudge along through the days of the tests, discomfort and paralysis I mentioned.
But I think what's a bazillion times worse than facing those challenges and that trudging, is the choice to not try at all. If you're settling for a life and a frame of mind that makes you feel crap about yourself and what you have, allowing yourself to believe there's no other option, I think is doing yourself and your life a huge disservice.
So where can you go from here? 🤔 If you feel you can really relate to what I've said here and you're open to trying a new tact, my upcoming online course The Imperfect Life® Designer could really be a perfect fit for you. Amongst a bunch of other super-useful strategies, it really dives deep into how you can learn to listen to what your gut wants, how you can learn to minimise self-doubt and how you can learn to work through your limiting fears. So if you wanna be the first to hear when it opens for enrolment, let me know by tapping the button below. I'll hook you up 😊
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the read – until next weekend gorgeous face 💋