For a long time, I wouldn’t even consider myself a perfectionist because I wasn’t good enough at being
ok to even call myself an aspiring perfectionist. Without realizing it, I existed to make other people happy or at least make them think I was doing well without any help.
Somewhere along the way, my self worth got caught up in the idea that if the people around me thought I was ‘ok’ then maybe I would actually be ok.
Obviously, I wasn’t waking up every morning wondering, “How can I impress people today?” This mindset develops over time. And certainly once you notice/realize it is there it doesn’t simply vanish.
We live in a world where we are told what to eat, how often to have sex, what to weigh, how to decorate, etc. We are shown and average 3,000 ads per day! There is absolutely no way that doesn’t have an impact on us.
If I chased you around all day and told you, “You’re so pretty!” 3,000 times each day, that would absolutely have an impact on you! First, you would find me terribly annoying. Second, you may start to believe that you are actually pretty damn foxy.
While I didn’t consciously seek to impress people each day, I did need the validation of others to know that I was doing even sort of ok. The problem with that was even with the validation, I wasn’t really happy or getting what I wanted out of life.
Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you really need to do, in order to have what you want.
– Margaret Young
How Annoying is THAT?!
Why won’t making more money, having the ‘right’ stuff, etc make me happier?! They are supposed to!
Bene Brown in “The Gifts of Imperfections” writes that where perfectionism exists, shame lives. And it bleeds into everything we do.
Typing my home was one of a lot of things I’ve done to strip away (literally) the things I think other people think I should have and leave myself only with the things that I love just because I love them. Something else I have done is slowly remove the people from my life that need the approval of others in order to be ok. I needed to do this because I knew that I couldn’t be different, be myself while surrounded by people that were terrified by anyone that didn’t fit into what is ‘supposed to be.’ And that encourages shame too.
Where does your shame live?
We all have it. We are all going to be working to move it out of our lives because it’s a process.
Are you ready to be imperfect and shine a little light on that shame? I think reading that book would be a great start.
As always, I’m here and would love to hear from you. Tell me about your shame. What makes it hard to let go of? Who makes it hard to let go of?