So many of us chase perfection. The perfect home, the perfect hair, the best at a sport, or immediately excellent at a new hobby. Ironically though, perfectionism is a form of self-sabotage—it prevents us from living in the moment and having meaningful experiences.
I promise you this: you can get past your perfectionism. Here are the two, essential realizations I had in order to get there.
I’ve been a working actress for years, so when I started my confidence coaching business, I thought it'd be a great idea to make videos for my new work. If I could work on a movie, I assumed making videos would be easy. Wrong! And when my videos weren’t "perfect," I nearly threw in the towel. I would spend days and days (literally) filming and re-filming my videos. I was attempting to polish my already-helpful videos toward some kind of robot-like state of perfection that was completely beside the point of what I was trying to offer my clients. Getting out of my own way has been my challenge and goal, but the more I relax and think about how I am in the flow or service to others, rather than thinking about myself, the more I am able to engage people.
Perfection is many things: boring, intimidating, unsustainable, and, well, not real. Don't believe me? Try this: Think about someone you love. Then think about a quality they have that you love, something that makes them special. Maybe it's their raucous laugh, their frizzy-curly hair, their need to put hot sauce on everything they eat. These are their less-than-perfections.
I'm not suggesting we all give up on trying to improve ourselves. But I am saying that learning to accept your flaws makes you relatable. After all, aren't we all secretly longing to just be ourselves?! Nothing is perfect in this world and when we can embrace that notion we will live in harmony with life, flaws and all.
I often reference this quote from Marianne Williamson’s book, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles when I talk about the myth of perfectionism:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.