People like to idealize perfectionism. They convey it as an endearing quirk, a Woody Allen-esque neurosis. But here's the thing: Striving for excellence and setting unrealistic expectations for yourself are very different things.
Whether it's your weight, your sexuality, issues with your parents, or whatever it is that you beat yourself up for deep down inside, know that you're not perfect. You'll never be perfect. You're not supposed to be perfect. But you will be ok.
We all have bad days. No matter how many yoga classes you attend, how smoothly your life runs, or how strong your willpower. The secret to thriving is learning how to move forward in spite of bad days, instead of aiming to never have one (the curse of a perfectionist).
I'm learning a lot in my pursuit of imperfection. French fries are a delicious addition to a meal. Red wine is a perfectly acceptable as a late night study companion. Plenty of reading can get done in carpool lines. Deadlines are more easily met when you have more deadlines.
Over the years I've gotten pretty good at being pretty crappy at some things. To be clear, I hate being crappy at things. It's not my intention, it's frustrating. But I also know that sometimes it's just necessary.
Are you putting off launching your online program, writing your book, getting your website ready or doing your sales copy? Over the past few years, I've talked to hundreds of people who shared similar scenarios.
My daughter loves to post this photo around the holiday every year as her profile picture on Facebook. That's me. This isn't staged. I'm not drunk. I just used to be intoxicated on perfection. It's a great reminder of what happens when that is your goal during the holidays.
I spent many years living in the shadow of the perfect woman. When we put energy into being what we're not, we often lose precious people and moments along the way. Moments we can never get back -- and sometimes relationships that can't be mended.
These deeply-held beliefs and faulty assumptions prevent us from putting ourselves out there and taking risks, strategies that happy people rely on to succeed. They also prevent us from having those tough conversations, whether with ourselves or with important people in our lives.
I'm sure I'd still be searching for fulfillment if I didn't receive a wake-up call on September 30, 2004. I was 26 when I was wheeled into the ER and a nurse asked if I knew what was happening. "I think I had a stroke," I muttered. "Ma'am, you are HAVING a stroke."