When I first sat down to write this month’s love note, I was fired up and ready to talk perfectionism – what it is, what it isn’t, and all the ways it brings us down. I had barely finished my first paragraph and something just felt… off.
So, I facetimed my BFF Deray.
We talked about perfectionism for a while. We shared the ways that our need to be perfect shows up and creates blocks in our lives.
I told him that I felt it more came from external pressures in the world. How trying to be perfect has mostly to do with caring too much what people think and a desire to be accepted by others. He felt, on the other hand, that perfectionism is mostly motivated by interior judgments of what it means to be good enough. He felt that because he has had moments of knowing what his best looks like, anything short of that creates an urge in him to shut down.
After dissecting our relationships with perfectionism and challenging each other’s point of view …I had a lightbulb moment.
I realized that my first draft on perfectionism felt off because I don’t need to explain the pain that we feel when we chase “perfection.”
Whether we are looking for it in the classroom, on the scale, as a partner, best friend, or in our role at work- we all already know what it feels like to desperately try to live up to impossible standards. We all sign up for the mythical idea that just on the other side of the test we ace, the skinny jeans we fit into, or getting to the right place at the right time and saying the right thing, is the version of ourselves that is blissfully happy because we are “perfect.” I know that I am not alone when I say that this race towards the impossible feels awful.
I am not here to explain the pain. I am here to be your friend through it, and honestly, I think that’s what we need most during the tough stuff.
And like any good friend in the moments that suck, I am here to give you a pep talk.
First of all, wanting to be perfect isn’t entirely your fault. We live in a society that wants us to feel like we aren’t good enough so that we will buy all of the things that (in their opinion) will make us feel good enough.
Secondly, you are fabulous. There is quite literally no one in the world like you. Trust in that, and instead of trying to be versions of yourself that are stressful, have fun getting to know yourself. Chasing perfection distracts us from self-discovery. There are a million unlived lives and dreams within us; let’s find out what they are.
There is a line in one of the poems of my book, Heart Talk, that I always hold on to when I am faced with the pressure to be perfect, it says:
When I let go
I thought I had to be
Discover who you really are. I will be with you every step of the way.
As always, I love you,
P.S. I wanted you to be the first to know
I spend most of my time on the road, and one of the things I never leave home without is a baseball hat. So this summer I wanted to make you one of my very own must-haves. We made a really small run of this hat, and you can click here to shop.