Photo Credit: wellworthcowork.com
"Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we're all in this together."
I've struggled for a LONG time with thinking I had to be perfect. I consistently beat myself up over not achieving a certain result which caused a lot of unwanted stress and worry. To be honest, I never really cared what anyone thought of me; no one could be harder on me, than myself. Perfectionism is defined by setting excessively high, and often unattainable, standards that can be accompanied by an overcritical self evaluation or evaluation of others. In a world that is highly accessible, it is so easy to get this idea of what a 'perfect image' looks like and to get hyper-critical when you don't fit into that mold. This could be in your health, weight, business, marriage, parenting, you name it. I've struggled with comparisons in all of the above. It is a bit difficult for me to be this vulnerable with our readers, but I want to talk about some areas of perfectionism that I've struggled with and how I've learned to have grace with myself.
My biggest pitiful as a 'recovering perfectionist' was that I was highly critical of myself. I would beat myself up for the littlest things and then I would go down the 'rabbit hole' of self deprivation. I've caused a lot of unnecessary stress in my life due to setting unrealistic expectations of myself and beating myself up when I fell short. These expectations of what a person should accomplish in a day were unrealistic for two people to accomplish in one day. Another downfall I've had is what psychologists that have studied perfectionism refer to as an "all-or-nothing' approach. It was very much this '100% or nothing' mentality, to be completely frank, that became an exhausting way to approach life for me. I've also struggled with things having to be done a specific way. As long as something is out of place, it would not be acceptable. Because of that, I found it hard to allow people to do things for me. It would then cause an extreme amount of anxiety when I found it hard to delegate. Lastly, I've had a significant fear of failing. I never felt good enough and I always caused myself internal animosity. Clearly I had a lot growing to do.
Thankfully, I wanted to change. As a wife, I've learned that I am enough and I am loved even amidst my imperfections. As an entrepreneur, I've realized failure is necessary to learn and grow. As a mom, I've learned how to 'drum to my own beat' and how to do what's best for the family. As a former athlete, I've learned to appreciate the fitness journey. But the biggest mindset shift was learning to have grace with myself. I stopped comparing myself with this unrealistic version I was creating and to started seeing myself as worthy as I am. I instead started focusing on what my husband and I call 'winning our day' and started focusing on controlling what I could control.
I'd like to share a few tips that have worked for me in overcoming unhealthy perfectionism:
Tip 1: I've learned to set 'priority lists' instead of 'to-do lists.' I had this unhealthy habit of setting these ridiculous 'to-do lists' that nobody in their right mind would be able to get done. Instead, I learned to set priorities of what needs to be done today verses what needs to happen this week.
Tip2: I don't read, listen or participate in anything that is detrimental to my self image. Comparison killed my self-image, so I just decided not to play that game. I've trained myself to be very intentional about what I put into my mind.
Tip 3: I focus on positive self- talk. I've said a lot of mean things to myself over the years. I have worked on, and continue to work on, positive affirmations and meaningful self talk. It has made a big difference.
Tip 4: I got really comfortable with being uncomfortable. This is HUGE. I'm a firm believer in doing something that scares you on a day to day basis. I am constantly looking for ways to grow my capacity and tackle those daily wins.
Starting to come to grips with being an imperfectionist has meant I've had to really work on shifting the paradigm mentally, emotionally and spiritually as well as implementing on new programming. Brandon and I wholeheartedly believe in progression over perfection and enjoying the journey. I hope all of you, like me, can get to the point of appreciating the process of becoming the best version of yourself. Ask yourself: "Am I better today than I was yesterday?"
Enjoy the journey,
Amanda (Brandon approved 😀)