Achieving perfection is a goal that doesn’t actually exist. You probably know this intellectually, but there is still this gnawing drive to perform and succeed. There might a voice in the back of your mind saying something like...
“If I can just accomplish [fill-in-the-blank], I will have made it and I’ll be successful”
“If I can get this part of my life together, I will be good enough”
“Once I have a spouse, a child, or more friends, (or fill in the blank) I will be loved”
“Once I meet my goal weight, then I will feel worthy of love”
For me it’s something like... “if I am on top my responsibilities in all areas: work, home, family, & social all at once, then I will have it all together”. The running to-do list in my head is always a reminder that I haven’t quite made it to perfect.
Perfectionism is so appealing because it provides us with a feeling of being in control.
The above thoughts are all “if, then” scenarios that support the belief that we have power over our ability to feel loved, successful, and good enough. Of course, you do have the ability to influence your thinking patterns and work through issues with self esteem. But the faulty thinking of performance-based perfectionism tries to make you think that you have total control over proving that you’re enough. It can keep you in a terribly exhausting cycle of performing and striving in an attempt to earn love and acceptance. Thankfully, the opposite is true...
When you decide to live life in a more vulnerable way and embrace your imperfections you realize that feeling worthy is accessible now. There is no arriving and finally earning the title of “perfect”, but there is the option to choose to the path of unconditional self love.
So what does this look like?
The thought processes above would have a new meaning...
“I’d like to accomplish [fill-in-the-blank], but whether I accomplish it or not I am enough”
“I can feel complete and good enough in this moment, with who I am right now”
“I desire relationships, and I can rest in the fact that I am worthy of love”
“I’m lovable for who I am no matter my size”
I’d like to encourage you to let go of the pressure, and remind yourself that you are loved and enough in this moment.
If you’re interested in diving deeper into your perfectionist beliefs through counseling, and are ready to embrace more vulnerability in your life, visit my services page for more information about if we would be a good fit!