Many women I work with are squeezed between feeling the need to be perfect and judging themselves harshly for not being perfect.
Wow it’s a painful place to be.
And so not necessary.
I love the Dan Millman quote:
“You began life with a natural, complete sense of worth. (Have you ever met an infant with self-worth issues?) But as you grow, you serve as your own judge, deducting points when you misunderstand the nature of living, and learning—when you forget you are a human-in-training and that making mistakes and having slips of integrity and mediocre moments are a part of life, not unforgivable sins.”
I would go further. Not only is being imperfect not an unforgivable sin, it’s vital to living a full, happy, and authentic life.
Often when I ask clients to list their gifts or positive attributes, they struggle or can’t do it. But ask them for self-criticism or the perceived judgments of others and they can give you a page.
From the time you were born, you begin trying to please many masters—parents, teachers, friends, society, God, etc., etc. This would be OK if they were asking the same thing from you, but the message is inconsistent. To please your parents you have to say and be one way. To please your teachers, you have to say and be another. Your friends yet another.
And people still don’t like you and criticize you. You begin to think, “Maybe if I contort myself this way or that way they will love me.” You begin striving to meet this ever-changing target of perfection that will make everyone else happy.
Is it any wonder that you can’t be perfect?
In the process of contorting yourself, you lose Who you are—what you actually enjoy, what you’re good at, what you love.
By trying to be perfect, you may stop at the first hint of criticism. If you do push forward, your self-imposed rigidity my suck all the fun out. Life becomes hard. More often then not, you give up on achieving your goals and do what’s easier–what you know you can do perfectly.
I’m pulling your mask away. I see you and you aren’t perfect. You aren’t hiding the fact that you aren’t perfect from anyone. And you are so loved and worthy just as you are. You don’t need to please anyone else. You don’t need to be anyone else. In fact, the world is hungry for the true you.
I see you for Who you truly are—absolutely and totally perfect in your imperfection.
How do you expect to expand, change, and evolve if you are already perfect? And you can’t help but expand, change, and evolve. It is boxing yourself in and trying to limit yourself to playing in the narrow lines of perfection that is at the heart of your pain and unhappiness.
Growth comes from playing, learning, trying, and being. So relax. Ease up on yourself—and others. Play more. Be willing to learn more. Be willing to try and have the results be less than perfect. Let go of doing more and focus on being more.
Can you feel the relief in that? Can you feel the path to joy in that? Can you see the way to being Who you truly are?
Together we can do it!
I have only one word for this: Awesome. (Okay, two: Seriously. Awesome.)
Thanks so much, Julia! And I think you are seriously awesome! Love you!
Learning this a little more and more each day 🙂 Thank you for such a wonderful post!
Woo hoo on learning this! A little more each day is enough! Thanks so much for commenting. Appreciate you, Claire!
Great post, Hanna! So true!
Thanks, Kristin! Appreciate your commenting!
I love this. You are so right on, but it can be very hard to come to terms with the imperfections. I thought about you and all of the wisdom you share here yesterday when I was spinning with annoyance of work pressures and technology failures and I was thinking about some of the strategies your encourage people to use to diffuse that energy. It helped and will help more with practice. Thank you for your thoughtful posts! I eat up every one like chocolate!
Love it! And eating it like chocolate is about as high a compliment as I could receive! Just want to offer you huge kudos that you A. recognized that you were spinning with annoyance and actually engaged in some practices to diffuse that energy! Woo hoo! That is awesome. And yes, gets so much easier with practice. Thanks so much for commenting and letting me know that I wasn’t receiving your comments. I value all the feedback I get and yours are important to me. Thank you!
🙂 Thank you for all the great tools and insights!!
Thank you for reading and commenting! I appreciate it!
Love it Hanna!!
Thank you! Appreciate you!