Oh, how we long to be perfect!
Be the perfect daughter, be the best in your class, be the best at sports, be likeable, have many friends, be sociable but not too sociable, have the perfect life, tell the best stories, go on the most wanted holidays, own the trendiest clothes, have the best career, be healthy, be fit, be beautiful and nonetheless have the most wanted man and start a family.
And this is not all.
You aspire to be perfect at everything you do, it might be cleaning, or washing your hair or doing your own makeup.
You take pride in being perfect.
You believe that people will only respect you, admire you and love if you are perfect.
But it’s so hard to be perfect at everything day after day. You screw up, you give up, you have no more energy to be perfect. You sit in bed for days, watching distracting TV episodes, snacking on whatever you can find in your fridge or cupboard and just mourn.
You are mourning not being able to keep up with the idyllic perfect image you have created for yourself and you are scared that if people will see who you really are, they will not like you.
Who wants to see a broken girl? Who wants to see someone who is far from being perfect? Someone who has not showered in days?!
You finally come to your senses and then the whole cycle starts again. You are flawless and you seem perfect once again. Until, next time.
My life in a nutshell.
This is what it used to be until I managed to face my perfection and embrace it.
You see, perfection is just like fear. I believe it is FEAR’s cousin and just like with fear, you cannot escape it, but you can learn to live with it.
Don’t get me wrong, we are not friends, not yet anyway.
But, “she” is with me every step of my way.
I see her in other people, I see her every time I judge myself, I see her in how frustrated I get when things don’t go my way. She is always here. But, I have learned to put her on mute.
I am driving my car and I control the radio. I was driven for 24 years, always asking permission if I could turn the radio louder or if I could change the channel.
Most of the times I never asked, I knew the answer might be NO so why even bother. But, I never had the courage to do it myself, until now.
How did I muster the courage? The strength? The compassion and love for myself to see when perfectionism takes over?
1. Be present
They say meditation is a great way to start flexing your “being present” muscles because it teaches you to stop, breathe and relax for a few moments and notice your thoughts. I did not meditate for years because when I first started I could not stay still and not think of anything, meaning I did not do it perfectly so I stopped doing it at all.
Try it now. Close your eyes.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
Hear the sound the air makes when entering and exiting your nostrils.
See what comes to mind. Don’t stop your thoughts. Observe them. Don’t go into them. Just notice what goes in your mind.
Inhale again. Exhale.
You did it!
You were present in the moment and you meditated. Every second count!
If you resist meditating, no worries.
There is something else you can do and that is: go for a walk and check everything on your path. Look carefully at the street, the trees, people, colors, smell, temperature, noise. Just observe. There is nothing you need to do or judge. Just observe everything that is surrounding you.
Whenever things don’t go according to our perfect plan, we tend to blame others or/and ourselves. It’s very hard to accept that “it happened for a reason” and to trust that the universe has a better plan for you. We are used to controlling everything.
Start using this mantra:
“Universe always has my back. I am protected and guided. Everything happens for a reason and for my highest good”
whenever things seem “out of control”.
By repeating the mantra above, you learn to let go and in time you will change your mental pathways from “I NEED to solve this, to change this, to control this” to “all is well in my life, the Universe is taking care of me”
Celebrate EVERYTHING. Start with daily wins, no matter how small. Before going to sleep, write 3 things you did well that day and feel proud of.
Before going to sleep, write 3 things you did well that day and feel proud of.
Also, celebrate your losses. This is a hard one and I know there will be resistance at first. Perfectionists cannot accept failure, not to mention acknowledge it and be proud of it.
Start small. Think of one thing that did not go your way and in the end it turned out great. Celebrate it!
This is your easy-to-follow daily guide on how to add more balance to your life.
Remember: it does not have to be daily, we strive for completion not perfection. Do it as often as you remember and it will play a major role in your life!