When I was in sixth grade, my class was preparing for an art project. We were instructed to work in pairs and I remember quickly combing through my list of friends in my head wondering “Who is least likely to mess this up?”
My close friend of a couple years with perfect handwriting, perfectly matched outfits, perfectly organized desk came to mind. Luckily, she sought me out to pair up.
I remember sitting next to her and just as she started to mold the clay for our project, she said, “I’m just going to go for this. I’ve been trying not to be such a perfectionist.”
I was surprised at first…and then I felt a little free. We can give ourselves permission to just be…without trying to be perfect?
Do you identify with either of these little girls? 20 years later, I think about how wise my friend was and I’m thankful that she planted the first seed that challenged my desire for perfection.
As Brené Brown, PhD often discusses, perfectionism is different than healthy striving. It’s okay to try our hardest and do our best. When we put so much pressure on ourselves to reach an unattainable standard and beat ourselves up no matter how hard we try, then our striving is out of whack and doing us more harm than good.
“When perfectionism is driving, shame is always riding shotgun — and fear is the annoying back seat driver.”
– Brené Brown, PhD
If you identify with any of this–you are not alone! If you are stuck in striving for perfection and the accompanying fear and shame related to not being good enough, I want you to know that while so many people are and have been where you are at, it doesn’t need to be this way!
We can learn to choose to let ourselves be free, just like my friend playing with her clay in sixth grade.
There are so many great books and articles on this subject. I highly recommend, The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown, PhD.
Questions on this topic? Reach out to me at 916-572-7412 or send me a message. I’d love to hear from you!