Updated: Jan 16, 2022
In order to stay as extremely true to this topic as possible, I have not written any notes, outlined the main points to touch on, or really given much thought towards what to write. You see, I sat down and knew I wanted to write a post for the day - as posting more frequently is a goal I've set for myself. This goal was set professionally, but in truth it's more of a tool that I intend to use to assist in working my way out of the perfectionist mindset that has been home for far too long.
I sat down, and my mind browsed over the many topics I've noted in my mind over the past few days that I'd love to write about. But nothing was clicking, I felt unprepared and wanted more time to write on the topics that were crossing my mind. And with a few deep breaths, my self awareness kicked in: I'm doing it again. Wanting to make each and every aspect of my business and content put out in the world as absolutely great and polished as possible. If I have the time, I might as well make it as good as can be right? This sounds great, and is something I let myself believe for a very long time.
As a way to disassociate from the perfectionist title, I would tell myself that I wasn't a perfectionist, I was simply capable of producing high quality work. And it's commendable to strive for goals and have an expectation for myself that is reflective of the potential I believe myself to have. I mean, if anything I am motivated and confident.... not perfectionist.
Sounds nice. But I was soo wrong. And I know this because living in that state of denied perfectionism, I felt constantly behind, and had a never ending to-do list in my mind that caused anxiety and sense of urgency. No matter how ridiculously productive I was, the list never got shorter and I never felt content or really truly proud of the work I had accomplished.
Rest would come in the form of near-burnout. If I had a weekend where I didn't bring work home or wasn't jamming as many activities as possible into each minute - I would sleep. Not just a casual afternoon nap kind of sleep. No, it would be the knocked out, drooling, waking up and not knowing what time it is, what day it is and what is going on. In the rare occasion I let my body rest, it was all systems on shut down.
The body is communicating what we need, at almost all times. Yet, we just silence those signs/signals and messages and allow our brains to take over "no, I know what's best here". This honestly makes no sense! The mind is not qualified for all the ridiculous items we task it with. I mean really, we expect our brains to plan our lives, control and manage the body, emotions and make us feel good at all times. That's just maybe a little bit much? Especially when we are gifted with a body - the most unbelievable and incredible system of function and communication on earth. The body can fight sickness, heal wounds, process emotions, and know what it needs to have in order to function properly - and even communicate those needs! It's beyond amazing. But we ignore it all the time.
My journey out of perfectionism began as a journey inward, connecting to the body a little bit at a time. Slowly I recognized the signs that were there telling me what I needed; rest, exercise, water etc. My body also was the most true indicator of where I was doing things in my life that weren't really in alignment, or didn't make me feel good. I noticed in certain situations I was far more tense and constricted. Whereas other situations allowed me to feel expanded, comfortable and at ease. My only job was to listen to these signals, and follow what felt good. Following something that felt right made it easier for me to say 'no' or set boundaries. Before connecting with what felt right for me, saying 'no' was extremely stressful and rare for me. I didn't want to let anyone down and worried far too much about what they would think of me if I didn't meet their expectations.
The more I followed what felt good for me, the more my life began to shift. Slowly at first, and then all at once. Feeling good and connected to myself became an experience I wanted to hold on to and never lose again. I quickly became protective of that feeling and was firm with avoiding situations that brought the constricting and uncomfortable emotions. Patterns began to show up; I learned there were certain people who were upset with my changes, the old me would worry about that - but I began to realize that anyone who was upset with my boundaries was someone who was most likely benefiting very much from my previous lack of boundaries.
Follow the good feelings. Set boundaries and protect the connected and aligned energy. Those steps were the most important steps in my retreat and freedom from perfectionism. From there, I was able to step into my self worth and love myself in a way I never had before. At that point, life as I once knew it would never look the same again. And as terrifying as that was, it felt incredible. I began a new chapter, I was the author - and perfection was nowhere to be found.