This is what it feels like to be a perfectionist: You spend lots of time and effort letting go of the mundane things that seem trivial to others. You see people admitting to their silly mistakes and being able to laugh at them, but simple things like arriving slightly later than you promised, taking a longer route by accident, or failing to deliver your thoughts like you planned out in your mind etc. are able to make you want to beat yourself up more than anything else.
Perfectionists like us tend to feel most comfortable with the idea that we are always good enough, therefore anything that threatens our identity stresses us out.
Here’s one thing I realized from the conversations I had with people who are perfectionists: none of us will say we have fully recovered from perfectionism. We always say we are getting there and we are somehow still figuring out how to do so. The reason is being a perfectionist has always been something within us. It influences the way we make our decisions and it is the very power that drives us to always push just a bit further than we had.
Before we try everything to remove the perfectionist within us, we need to understand that there is no way we can run from it or erase it completely.
Accepting we are imperfect is a release, as it grants us the freedom we don’t reward ourselves often enough.
Freedom is not knowing that you can’t make mistakes and therefore you can escape from hurtful critics and comments; freedom is knowing and appreciating that you are imperfect, hence you are free from all the emotional stresses you put yourself through when you hold on to a certain outcome, so you have all the emotional and mental energy to work on what truly matters.
Learning how to soften, surrender and let things flow is healthier than trying our best to strive and achieve all the time. Of course, it doesn’t mean that we should not try our best because we certainly should go out there and give it all that we have got. But once we know we don’t have to always display a perfect, flawless figure, we are set free.
Remember, the perfectionist is forever within us, if there ever comes a critical time that demands us to juggle everything or produce the best results in what we do, we know that we can trust ourselves to handle it with elegance that most people struggle to have, as that is who we are deep down.
But meanwhile, you don’t have to always be perfect. Be free instead.
Featured Image Credit: Ali Soltani