For years, I used perfectionism as navigation for my life. It wasn't until I was in my 30s that I realized it was the very thing that was robbing me of my relationships and from accomplishing the goals in my life that I was so passionately pursuing.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
I grew up in a church that taught me to believe I had to lead a perfect life, a life that didn't allow mistakes and if you made a mistake, it was followed with a tidal wave of judgment. For years I tried everything I could to live a life of perfectionism, but it was within that perfectionism that I made mistakes, just as we all do, but it was followed by shame and anxiety.
Instead of understanding that we experience the most growth through our mistakes and no life is perfect, I would try to hide those mistakes. Before I knew it, I became a bit obsessive with perfectionism. It got ugly, girls...I soon realized I was exerting so much energy trying to have every component of my life fit into this box of perfection that I was failing in areas I should have been thriving in. I finally realized that striving for perfection was hindering me from thriving. Perfectionism leads to stagnation and could even lead to self-critical depression.
Once I understood the dangers of perfectionism, I made a shift in both my mindset and in every aspect of my life. This change was followed with true joy, reduced anxiety, a sense of fulfillment, and I truly became courageous and successful in the pursuit of what sets my soul on fire.
You don't have to be perfect, girls. If you want to pursue your passions, you must pursue them without a mindset of perfectionism. It is our mistakes in life that allows us to learn and grow. Without mistakes and failures, we are merely living a stagnant life. You will also realize how perfectionism is hindering and even destroying some of the relationships in our lives that should bring us so true joy. Just as Brene Brown says, "Perfectionism is a twenty-ton shield that we lug around, thinking it will protect us, when in fact it's the thing that's really preventing us from taking flight."
Take flight girls...let go of perfectionism. You can read more about the importance of removing perfectionism from your life in my new book, We're Stars and We're Beautiful, coming Winter 2019.