I’ve been a perfectionist for just about as long as I’ve had boobs. It’s just a fact. Actually, now that I think about it, the two painful P’s-puberty and perfectionism- may be linked for a reason.
Like many young girls, I was overwhelmed by sudden changes in my body back in grade school and I quickly took to ‘working’ on it as a project. I adopted the belief that my body and me-I- wasn’t complete as I was. I walked into a mental prison and didn’t get partial release until recently.
I’m now aware of the external and internal forces that may have contributed to this self-destructive behavior, but instead of focusing on the why’s today I want to focus on the how’s. The how to let go, shed and give up the perfectionist’s way.
Letting go of long-standing, obsessive thoughts is not an overnight job. It’s a process. Say it with me friends: PROCESS. If saying or thinking about that word brings you into a dark place, switch it up with something more geared to your sensibilities like ‘journey,’ or ‘story.’ Either way, get comfortable with the idea that you are entering a marathon, not a race, to drop your perfectionist ways. Your tools for making it through? Deep breaths…and an overwhelming dose of self-love.
This is my journey. My path. My process. I’ve developed awareness around my obsessive, need-to-contain, perfectionist ways in recent years through observing my thoughts in meditation and talking it out in therapy. I needed to know how I was operating and the way it affected me before I could make any changes. And that’s just the way the cookie crumbles folks–we need to shine the light on our $h*! so we can see what’s really there before we deal with it.
I’ve let go of many of my obsessive behaviours over the years, but some still linger and that’s okay. I accept. I love. I move on. Currently, I’m working on repeating the mantra “Good Enough” to myself when I’m at work, so I’m reminded to show myself compassion and acceptance at every turn. I breathe. I remember. I show gratitude for this chapter in my book of life and keep truckin.’
My advice to you? Pick your own loving mantra to guide yourself back to love when you dive into devaluing. Next, start to pay attention to how you treat and talk to your close friends. How do you react when they’re hard on themselves? I’m guessing it’s with a lot more understanding than you would show yourself in the same situation. Remember that and remember to treat yourself like the very bestest friend you ever had.