When we hold ourselves and others to a perfect standard, it’s painful. We end up chasing something that doesn’t exist. Perfectionism plagues us and continuously keeps us in a loop of striving and shame. When we aim to be perfect, we never quite get there. We’re always in a place of “that could have been better” and “that wasn’t enough.”
When perfect is the gold standard, we’re never enough.
The shame spiral is deep and wide. It’s a vicious cycle that perpetuates fear, doubt, pain and struggle. But ironically, perfectionists use this unachievable standard as a shield. When we pour ourselves into working hard, we justify our emotional unavailability. We think busy equals important and worthy and this endless striving gives us a good excuse not to be present, real and vulnerable.
Aiming to be perfect hurts you in two ways. It not only creates an endless, flawed theory for yourself, it also perpetuates your unrealistic expectations for everyone around you too.
So let’s cut the BS and start to shift into reality. Are you ready to do this differently?
If you’re human, you’re imperfect. When we start to move into radical acceptance that we WILL make mistakes and we WON’T be perfect, we infuse our lives with compassion and authenticity. We actually find that our relationships feel deeper and more connected because we’ve lifted the veil of perfectionism that kept us inaccessible to others. We expand into self-love which is the gateway to loving others deeply too. We drop our criticism and judgement of ourselves and others and we shift gently towards acceptance. Embracing imperfection is a gift. It frees us of the impossible bond that striving for perfectionism creates.
So let’s repeat this imperfection manifesto together….
You’re allowed to make mistakes and so am I.
You’re allowed to not get it all right and so am I.
You have permission to go to sleep at the end of a long day and say that’s plenty! Whatever it is, it’s enough for now.
You’re allowed to say or do the wrong thing and have the courage to admit it and apologize. And so am I.
You deserve compassion and forgiveness and so do I.
You’re human and so am I. And sometimes we get triggered and react in a less than perfect way, but that’s part of healthy human evolution. To recognize where we stumble and learn from our mistakes.
You can live free of judgement and so can I.
You’re not perfect and neither am I.
When you embrace your imperfections and realize they’re normal and you adjust your expectations of yourself and others and when you decide that living from a place of real connection, love and forgiveness feels better than living in an endless cycle of shame and judgement, you’re on your way to healing from the painful life of perfectionism.
Megan Gunnell, LMSW Founder & Director of the Thriving Well Institute, psychotherapist, retreat leader, speaker, writer and entrepreneur. Loves to experience the world through food, culture, art, music and travel. Believes whole-heartedly that practicing gratitude, self-care and mindfulness are the foundation of thriving and living in joy.