Are you a perfectionist?
A lot of us are (including me), and that’s not a good thing.
When you hold yourself up to a perfect ideal, you are telling life that you do not deserve love, respect, or any other good thing unless you meet that ideal. Of course, it is impossible to be perfect, so you end up feeling like a failure because you never get what you want.
Perfectionism is also at the root of most addiction. Anorexics think that they will be lovable if they are thin. Alcoholics and drug addicts fear that they will never be as perfect as they think they need to be, so they drown this hurt and pain in the bottle or with pills—at least this way, they can have a reason why they are not living up to the ideal. Workaholics are always striving to prove themselves worthy of their jobs, love, and the respect of others by working themselves into the ground. Overeaters are often so frustrated at feeling that they will never measure up to the ideal body that they just eat—this way, they have control over how they failed. Plastic surgery addicts are chasing their individual belief of the perfect body, believing that attaining it will earn them love and approval.
Perfectionism is a nasty thing, because it never allows you to be good enough, lovable enough, or just enough. A perfectionist could do an absolutely perfect job, but they will only see the little flaws that no one would ever notice. Happiness is elusive for a perfectionist, because there is always something more that can be done to make their work, life, or body better.
This way of life will literally eat you alive. It is self-hatred, plain and simple. To live up to some fictionalized ideal, you will restrict eating, exercise excessively, and work until you have pushed way beyond your limits. You will beat yourself up for every single slight, mistake, or imperfection, and make yourself sick with worry that someone will find out that you are not as great as everyone thinks that you are. By making the ideal more important than you and your heath, your body will get the message that you do not really care about yourself, often resulting in disorders such as chronic fatigue and mononucleosis.
Stop abusing yourself! It’s time to start taking care of yourself and learn to accept yourself as you are now. Understand that no matter what messages you have received on what makes someone perfect, none of it is true. There is no ideal, and there is no perfect person. You are perfect as you are right now.
Choose to connect with your inner beauty and truly love yourself for being you. Choose to be authentic to yourself, your instincts, and your needs. When you make a little mistake, take a deep breath and say “So what?” Everyone is entitled to make mistakes.
Instead of seeing your “flaws,” realize that these very flaws are what make you unique and desirable. After all, Cindy Crawford could have seen the mole on her lip as a flaw, but it became a real asset for her career and a very desirable beauty mark. Jennifer Lopez could have listened to mainstream media and believed that her backside as too big, but instead it is a real strength for her and her career. Beyond just celebrities, look around at all of those that you admire; notice how their uniqueness is actually a true benefit to be loved and admired.
You are just as beautiful. Feel it in your spirit. Accept it in your soul.
The Flow Method Questions and Actions:
- If you are a perfectionist, why do you feel that you need to be perfect? Are you afraid of not measuring up? Not being loveable? Not being accepted? Were you raised in a family where every little slight, action, or word was analyzed and blown up to massive proportions? Do you still fear that one word or phrase will cause a catastrophic response?
- How often do you push yourself beyond your limits to chase an ideal? Where did the ideal come from? Can you make yourself worthy of taking care of yourself? Try using the affirmation, “I love myself. I am good enough in every way. I am perfect just as I am.”
Would this article help others in your life? I'd be so grateful if you'd share it with them - and I bet they would be, too! Much love and gratitude!