How I am Learning to Let Go of Perfectionism

Hey friends!! I hope you have been having a great week!! For some reason I am really tired this week. I am definitely not my usual peppy self, which kinda sucks.

I am imperfectSo I don’t usually let this cat out of the bag, but I am a perfectionist. You must be thinking “Her room must be spotless with everything in its place!” Hardly the case though, I have clothes everywhere, and I hate making my bed. So, from looking at my room you would never guess that I am a perfectionist. The clutter of my room simply represents the stress and of my mind.

I only really started to realize that I am a perfectionist in my first year of university. For some reason it was virtually impossible to start working on an essay if I didn’t have “the perfect opening line.” It basically looked like procrastination, but essentially I just couldn’t do it if I didn’t think it was going to be perfect. I forced myself to work on assignments and essays despite not having the “perfect opener” but it was a struggle, and people knew that I was generally always in the library, and if not I was in the gym, burning off all the stress.

I have become to realize how paralyzing perfectionism was. Only within this year I realized that I needed to get more information about it, and how I could deal with it. So, thankfully I found out that Perfectionism is tied to anxiety. Oh yay! How fun. If you have perfectionistic tendencies like I do, you are searching for some form of control. Being this way has kept me up at night because- I kid you not- I had this thought: “Oh my god I am so not perfect because a perfect person wouldn’t be a perfectionist!”

For a quick overview, you might be considered a perfectionist if you answer yes to any of these questions:

Do I have trouble meeting my own standards?
Do I often feel frustrated, depressed, anxious or angry while trying to meet my standards?
Have I been told that my standards are too high?
Do my standards get in the way? For example, do they make it difficult for me to meet deadlines, finish a task, trust others, or do anything spontaneously?  (Anxiety BC)

Sadly, I answered yes to ALL of these questions. I also was concerned about spelling ‘spontaneously’ correctly.

sometimes its toughYou see, the rational side of my mind thinks that perfection is kinda boring, yet the emotional side of my mind has latched on to the idea that it is the only way to be. It is also difficult being a perfectionist and having a chronic illness, because I can’t do things “the way everyone else does.” F that, right? Because we all have our own journey. It makes me think about people with other chronic illnesses, such as MS, and whether their chronic illness exacerbates their perfectionism? Or how wide spread this is? Is Perfectionism an issue with people who have chronic illnesses?

courtesy of yoganonomous
courtesy of yoganonomous

Anyways, I have started what is called “exposure therapy.” I don’t see a doctor for this, but I do things like have my boyfriend tell me that he thinks I’m perfect (I freaked the F out the first time he told me, and he genuinely meant it), put a typo or spelling mistake in an email, or show up to an event late. I have also bought a worry journal, so I have one little book where I can put all my crap and worries about the world. Realistically, I can figure out a way around them, but a worry is a worry for a reason.

What do you think about this?? Are you a perfectionist? Do you know one?

Lots of love! Stay imperfect!! xox

PS Yes it took me forever to write this!! It had to be “perfect”!

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