I know this because I was one. As a perfectionist, I had really high standards for myself and for others.
Having high standards is not so much the problem, but it’s setting them so high, that if things aren’t “perfect” then it’s never good enough.
But let’s face it. We’re human. We’re never going to be perfect.
Things never seemed to be good enough, which made me judgmental and critical of myself and of others. It made me more controlling, more highly-strung and it robbed me of so much joy because in any given moment, I was wanting things to be better than the way that they were, so it was a total joy-killer.
Sometimes we look at our traits of perfectionism as if it’s a virtue like something we’re kind of proud of because we have so much high standards. But the author Liz Gilbert, in her book “Big Magic”, encourages us to see perfectionism for what it really is: just another form of fear.
Gilbert says that perfectionism is like “fear in fancy shoes and a mink coat.” It’s just fear dressed up. But in truth, what perfectionism is saying underneath that guise is “I’m not good enough and I will never be good enough.”
Brené Brown says that perfectionism is a shield to protect us from the pain of blame and judgement and shame.
To overcome this joy-killing tendency, it doesn’t mean that we completely drop our standards and that we don’t still strive to be the best that we could be.
The truth is you are enough. You are worthy just because you exist. You don’t need to strive to earn your worth. You don’t need to strive to prove yourself to anybody.
Let go of perfectionism because we’re human, we’re perfectly imperfect. It means that we should allow ourselves to embrace and even love the messiness of life. Lighten up, bring in more humor and joy, laugh at life, laugh at the messiness, laugh at the imperfection. Embrace and enjoy it.
Life becomes so much more wonderful and joy comes flooding in when we allow ourselves to enjoy life in all its imperfection and messiness.
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