Being Paralyzed by Perfection [a perfectionist doesn’t always look perfect]

I am a perfectionist. My house isn’t perfectly neat, matter of fact it’s often a disaster. My clothes aren’t perfectly ironed or matching. My hair and make-up aren’t “just so”. But I am annoyingly aware of all of this… and it’s eating at me. It’s debilitating at times, I can hardly function because I can only think of how everything isn’t “just right”.

In my mind lives Pinterest worthy everything and I get obsessed thinking about how organized and visually pleasing I could make everything. And then I get stuck. I don’t know where to begin. Anxiety is building and I end up focusing on one small task for a long period of time until it is “perfect” letting all other things stack up around me.

I remember being told that I was a bit of a perfectionist first as an elementary school student, and thinking that it was a sort of compliment. A compliment, that if you are someone who works very hard to make things perfect, who continues to strive harder to make things just right, and obsesses until it is just so, that is a good thing. But, thinking back now I don’t think that it was a compliment. It was expressed as a worry or criticism. I would work really hard on one assignment until perfection and not get a lot of other things accomplished. I am a procrastinator, I think mostly because it’s easier to obsess about finishing on time than going over and over my work a thousand times, changing it to make it just a little bit better.

Being a perfectionist has caused me to not get started on so many things because I have over thought it to a fault. I feel like I must have everything just perfect or be a complete expert about it before I can do it or talk about it. Hence why I started this blog in June and haven’t made great progress in consistent writing. I worry about not having the right amount of pictures or words, the right “niche”, or expertise to offer my readers. I worry about possibly monetizing and branding and a million other things that don’t matter without content.

I have often let myself become paralyzed by perfection. By the idea that I can only do something if it is going to be the absolute best and just right in every way. Or else I will panic, obsess and stress when it isn’t. It has kept me from sharing some of the great things that I can do and say and make because they won’t be perfect. It has kept me from friendships and better relationships because I obsess over what to say and leave saying nothing at all. I worry about not being the perfect friend, wife, daughter, mother, employee, teacher, neighbor… etc. and often leave myself disappointed because had I not worried so much it would be just fine.

Today I am letting go of perfect. It is taking a lot of effort to work on just doing what I can, giving what I am capable of and being okay with those results because at least I got something done. Perfectionism doesn’t always look perfect, often it is a mess. If you, too are feeling paralyzed by the need to be perfect, I am giving you the permission to stop, what you have is enough. What you do is enough, you are enough. I am giving you permission to let some things go, and to go for something even if you don’t think that you will be “perfect” at it.

As I continue to let go of “perfect”, I’ll be striving for consistency here. Giving you some of my knowledge and encouragement, and hopefully creating community. Happy Encouragement Day, friends.

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