I was a perfectionist for as long as I can remember. Wanting to do things just right, getting them right on the first try, and having high expectations of myself. You couldn’t please me because if things weren’t done the way I’d do them, they just weren’t right. The funny thing is, although I was a “perfectionist” I knew I wasn’t perfect. I had this inner voice pushing me to do better, be better, be more than enough. That’s what it boiled down to. I didn’t feel like I was good enough. Of course, I didn’t see it so clearly then.
A little over four years ago, I reached a breaking point. At that point, I was able to see my life and myself in a way I hadn’t before. I saw myself for the hurting, broken, depressed woman I was. I had put so much time and effort into creating this facade of who I was. On the exterior, I was strong, unbreakable, immovable, a force to be reckoned with, brutally honest, and the ideal independent woman. The truth is, I was strong to the point it was detrimental, broken inside, stubborn, hearting, just brutal, and lonely. I share this because it took me seeing all of that for what it was to find a way to become the woman I wanted to be.
I set out to overcome the chronic depression I’d been fighting for years. The funny thing is, as I dedicated myself to the steps I took to conquer depression, perfectionism began to fade away. It was like a second-hand symptom. The more I leaned into the self-love portion of my journey, the less I engaged in my perfectionist ways. For me, perfectionism showed up as a way of masking my insecurities. The more I felt that I wasn’t good enough, the more visible my perfectionism would become. It was a way of not just masking but trying to earn my worth and prove it at the same time. It’s only now since I’ve healed the relationship with myself and continue to cultivate my self-love that I realize the difference between perfectionism and progress.
Perfectionism stemmed from that place of “I’m not good enough”. Progress comes from a place that I love and accept myself for who I am and seek to do better. Not wanting to change who I am but grow as a person. Naturally, with growth comes change but the change is organic, not forced. I no longer hold myself up to unrealistic expectations. I no longer let my failures hang over me as shameful reminders. I now have a healthy sense of striving to do the best I can. I see failure as an attempt that didn’t work out but I can learn from. I no longer strive for perfection, I strive for progress.
I just wanted to encourage you today if this spoke to you. I’m wishing you all that you need to support you in your journey of choosing progress over perfection. You are worthy and deserving of love just as you are. You don’t have to work for it, earn it, or do anything to deserve it. Just as a queen is deemed worthy by simply being born (or married into) a family, you too are worthy of love just by being you, and that includes self-love.
Sending lots of love your way,