Leaving Perfectionism at the Door

I cannot pinpoint when it began, but somewhere in my twenty-something years I developed an internal voice of perfection. I have always been my own biggest critic and now though some soul-searching I am beginning the process of increasing my awareness of this inner voice; mindfulness if you will. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not in a position to jump into any kind of formal practice of mindfulness at this point, but I’m starting to explore some avenues for dealing with this need for perfection. The first step is admitting your problem, right?

I am not perfect and while I recognize that, and always have, I can’t seem to quiet the constant need to appear or act like I have it all together. Let this be a public service announcement: I do not have it all together.

As with any problem in my life, the inner academic in me goes in search of research, articles, journals, forums, etc. to help me on the path to addressing this problem. Through this process, I stumbled upon the book, “The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are” by Brene Brown. I plan on doing a more formal review of this book in the next week or so, but in the interim, I wanted to share some key takeaways I have taken from the reading thus far. I hope these takeaways will be helpful for others struggling with similar issues.

Takeaways

  1. “Let go of the need to please, perform, and perfect.”
  2. “Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.”
  3. “When we let go of what other people think and own our story, we gain access to our worthiness.”
  4. “Practicing self-love means learning how to trust ourselves, to treat ourselves with respect, and to be kind and affectionate towards others.”

I’m really looking forward to finishing this book and continuing to engage with the text. My hope is that by the end of the book, I will have some actionable items that I can call upon daily to quiet this inner critic.

I’m curious to know if any of you have dealt with similar problems and how you dealt with them. Also, have you started a path towards being more mindful? What worked for you?

perfectionism

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