The Thing About Perfectionism

I used to have this idea that perfectionism meant you have to be organized, have a clean house and work space, have your life and your family’s life scheduled out, and have a great wardrobe to top it all off.  I have friends like this and I would tell myself, “wow, she’s so on top of it!  How does she do all that?  She’s amazing, she’s perfect.” Then, I would start thinking about myself and how I am not organized, how I stuff things I don’t know what to do with into closets, how I don’t know what I’m going to pack the kids for lunch the next day, and all the false negative things we as moms tell ourselves.

Then I’d start thinking about what I’m doing with my life.  I wanted to do so many things; start so many ventures.  I tried a few things here and there and always gave up because I could never get past surface level issues like the perfect brand name or the perfect logo.  I thought I needed these things to start a business.  And then it dawned on me.  What I was doing was a version of perfectionism…on the opposite end of the spectrum.  I wanted everything to be so perfect that I could not even start something.  The fear of failure was so daunting that I’d rather not begin at all than fail.  But how do you learn from perfection?  Isn’t failure where all the good growth happens?  Discomfort and failure are where some of life’s best lessons are learned.  Avoiding or fighting that discomfort is where suffering and struggling come into play.  We want to avoid that discomfort so bad we create suffering for ourselves.  Accepting or leaning into those discomforts is where epiphanies and peace occur, as I’ve found.

I truly believe that it’s much simpler than most people make it out to be.  Stop trying to be perfect.  Stop comparing yourself to people who you think are perfect.  No one in this world is perfect.  Do the things you’re scared of.  Lean into the discomfort.  Don’t be afraid of failing.  Fail.  Learn.  If you’re passionate about it, do it again.  It’ll be different the next time around if you’ve taken the time to learn the lessons from your failure.  You’ll be happy you did it.

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