When I was really young, my Dad found a few of my graded school assignments crumpled up in my backpack. I was trying to hide my not-quite-perfect scores. I felt so ashamed, I vowed to be perfect from that day forward. And, I succeeded. I earned top scores the remainder of my academic career.
You know what else I succeeded in? Robbing myself of true joy. I became a people-pleaser extraordinaire. I passed on fun adventures because I only wanted to do things that I knew I would be good at. I focused so intensely on analyzing my mistakes, I missed out on celebrating all of the things I did well. I turned over decades of my life to the prison of perfectionism.
It breaks my heart to see these same tendencies in sweet Emma. She is SO HARD on herself. She hates making mistakes. She prefers sitting safely on the sidelines to potentially looking silly trying something new.
Scott and I have been discussing how we can best support Emma. We know that being strong role models will have the biggest impact. GULP. I've needed to (compassionately) confront the force that has been driving my entire life.
I am just at the beginning of this new journey... and, I am having THE TIME OF MY LIFE! Releasing myself from the grips of perfectionism has given me such FREEDOM!
I've discovered the exquisite joy of LOUNGE PANTS! I no longer "require" myself to dress up with hair & makeup done to meet out with friends. Now, I am a social butterfly with a "messy hair, pretty-much-don't-care" attitude!
I have an entirely new community of friends because I keep showing up on my yoga mat everyday, despite being (really) far-from-perfect at it.
Oh, and I launched a company! I let my desire to do something meaningful speak louder than my fear of failing. And, the journey has been freakin' AWESOME!
To my fellow Type-A friends, I encourage you to consider letting go of the grips of perfectionism, throwing on a pair of lounge pants, and savoring the juiciness of being beautifully human.