Let me start of by admitting the obvious. I’m not perfect. But that standard, unrealistic though it may be, has plagued me for most of my life.
Knowing it’s impossible doesn’t stop me from wishing I could get it all right. Be a little better. A better writer. A better mom. A better wife. A better business woman. A better teacher. Just…better.
And it’s rooted in one thing. Not enough-ness.
I am not __________________ enough.
Smart enough. Creative enough. Friendly enough. Pretty enough. Spiritual enough. Healthy enough. Kind enough. Giving enough. Polished enough. Charismatic enough. Faithful enough. Strong enough.
Whatever floats my “not enough” boat that particular day.
And I know that this battle rages on all around me. It seems to plague my friends, neighbors, cousins, clients, colleagues, and business partners. It keeps them from living and loving and giving and creating and doing because they are all wrapped up in the same nonsense that I struggle with: self-doubt, procrastination, comparisons, people-pleasing, and the need for control.
These manifestations of perfectionism have held me back, slowed me down, and hurt my heart more times than I care to admit. They became the voices that haunted me, taunted me, and followed me relentlessly. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get them to go away. They hung around like old friends who I’d outgrown. We were no longer on the same page, but I didn’t know how to let them go.
Personally, I’ve fought my perfectionism for nearly four decades and just when I was beginning to learn how to get those voices to shut up, it got even more personal.
My daughter’s fourth grade teacher commented on my daughter’s desire to be perfect.
She said the word, “perfectionist,” with such pride. It will serve her well, she said. She’ll always stand out. It’s what makes her such a good student.
It will serve her well, I thought? Really?
I wanted to shout at her: NO. No it won’t.
I know the truth.
Perfectionism is a cage.
The fear of being wrong, of looking bad, of being unprepared, the fear of judgment – keeps us locked in silence.
It keeps us from asking for what we need, speaking up for what we think is right, going after what we want, or saying what needs to be said.
I don’t know where you are in your life, but if you struggle with perfectionism, I can promise you this. Your desire to be perfect is limiting your capacity. It’s keeping you from becoming your best self. It’s robbing you of your potential and the world of your gifts.
That’s why I’ve chosen to wage war on perfect.
I’ve been where you might be. And I’m done sitting on the sidelines while perfectionism sideswipes the potential (and frankly, the happiness) of the people around me.
It’s time to fight back.
To remove this desire to be perfect. Ruthlessly. Courageously. Relentlessly.
Because if you let it stay – it will snuff out the light inside you. That light…that magic…the very voice that makes you special. Those gifts that light you up from the inside. That draw people to you. That make an impact. They are why you are here.
While you are waiting for perfect, the world is waiting for you to show up.
This war will change the way you parent and love and do business. It will enable you to create your best work and share it. It will help you quiet the nasty little voices in your head that keep you from living your biggest and best life.
It’s time. To take up arms against perfectionism. To silence the four voices of your Inner Critic. The voices that keep telling you to hold back, to try harder, to do more. Because those voices are keeping you from sharing your best self with the world. It’s time.
To dare to become the person you were designed to be.
This is the second post in the series. You can check out the first post here – Why I’m Declaring War on Perfect.
If you’d like to receive a free copy of my new book, Waging War on Perfect, please sign-up below and I will shoot a copy your way when we launch in February.
Thanks for reading!! Let’s Wage War together!!