Identity

The Self-Inflicted Rule of Perfection

September 29, 2019

I can NOT overstate how much of a work-in-progress I am. As I know Erica is, and I know you are too. We, as humans, are never done growing, learning, or changing. At least I hope so. There is no plateau of greater existence where there are no more questions to be asked or mistakes to be made.

So why must we pretend that we have it all figured out? Why reach for unattainable perfection?

And it’s not even about keeping up the illusion of perfection, although I know that is a real issue with social media. But instead, let’s talk about perfection as a self-inflicting rule we’re forcing ourselves to follow.

These days, I find myself constantly berating and beating myself up in my own head. Raquel, why can’t you wake up earlier like all successful people do? Are you seriously going to eat more of that? Think about how that will effect your body. You could have handled that situation so much better –  let me haunt your dreams with what you could have said.

Do you see what I’m saying? What kind of subconscious dialogue does your mind default to when you’re not paying attention? Where are those pain points throughout the day that your Perfection Monster likes to prick? Because awareness of it is the first step to getting rid of it.

The LAST thing I want is for anyone to feel guilt for having these thoughts. This pressure didn’t come from your own idea of success. It came from our society, our customs; it came from parents who reinforced it and the rat race that calls you back into line. It’s the millions of books and blog posts telling you what to do in order to Matter and have Value. And it’s all bullshit.

I struggle with these feelings every day, in so many areas of my life: food, fitness, business, marriage… so I can’t write “5 WAYS TO FEEL BETTER ABOUT YOURSELF!!1!”, but I can tell you I understand. It’s like a current you have to actively fight against. We are unlearning years of self-doubt, self-sabotage and self-destruction. And that is damn hard.

I hope this post can help you (and me) utilize mindfulness about the pressures around perfection. Of all the things we feel we should be doing instead of what we can do with the time and resources we have. Let’s try to just be aware of where our mind goes, and in that moment – let it go. Because we not only need to be kind to ourselves, but – dare I say – initiate some self-love.

Several people in my life right now are struggling with juggling so many things at once, and doing everything right, whatever that means to them… Trying to achieve everything perfectly, and believing it can ONLY be a reality if they do this better, or work this much harder or longer.

We have to let this go.

Breathe. Really breathe. Slowly. Intentionally.

Bring the life back to your body and soul. And figure out what can give. Because we aren’t perfect; we must never expect that from ourselves. We are all better just being ourselves – “flaws,” “shortcomings,” and all.

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