Let Go Of Perfection


The perfect body.

The perfect home.

The perfect wife.

The perfect mom.

The perfect daughter.  

The perfect….

Which have you strived for? One of them? All of them?

According to Brené Brown, author of the Gifts of Imperfection:

“Perfectionism is a self-destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, live perfectly, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment and blame.”

As I have gotten older and wiser, I have abandoned any kind of desire for perfect. For one, I realize that it is simply not possible. No one is perfect. I know it seems like someone is. I bet you have a picture of someone whom you think is the perfect mom. Social media has created a whole new fantasy world of unattainable perfection. Even the imperfection is curated.

Her life is not perfect.

Mine isn’t either. I don’t claim it to be or try to make it so. And it’s freeing. I cannot base my value on other’s opinions of me. I can let go of perfectionism and still embrace self improvement. I strive to grow, to do better, to be better...but not to be perfect. I will miss a workout, eat a piece of cake, not make my bed or will show up to a meeting without make up. And it will be ok. In fact, better than ok. By accepting good enough, I can move my business forward instead of being paralyzed by it being imperfect. By letting go of perfectionism, I can enjoy my life in the here and now.

As a mom, I want to model my imperfectionism. My kids will not hear me say “well, I’m not perfect” as they know that was never the goal. They see me make mistakes and learn from them. They see me fail and get back up.

Are you unsure if you are a perfectionist? Well…

  • Do you feel like your best is never good enough?

  • Are you super hard on yourself when you make mistakes?

  • Do you not move forward on things because you feel they aren’t perfect?

  • Are you afraid of failure?

  • Do you have an all or nothing approach to life?

  • Do you feel like your success is never enough?

There is no perfect test which will categorize you as a perfectionist. But if you see yourself in many of these questions, it may be time to chart a new course in your life. Being a perfectionist is overwhelming and exhausting. For many, it actually holds you back because you procrastinate or choose not to take on projects that you know you can’t do perfectly. There is a deep sense of shame in never being able to attain perfection. Are you ready to let go?

Here are 5 steps to letting go of perfection…

  1. Strive for progress instead of perfection. Acknowledge growth.

  2. Become aware of your negative self talk. Do a do over thought that is empowering.

  3. Look at your goals to see if they are attainable. Chunk them down into small steps.

  4. Start to look at failures and mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow.

  5. Erase the definition of perfect from your life. Stop looking at others and yourself for perfection.

It takes awhile to let go of perfectionism. Chances are you have been attached to the illusion and pressure for a long time. But when you do let go of perfect, you can enjoy being good enough. Our imperfections and flaws are what make us who we are. There is no shame. In fact, in Japan, broken objects are filled with gold. The flaw is highlighted as a unique piece of the items history, which adds to its beauty. Perhaps it’s time to look at your own flaws in the same way.

If you are ready to let go of perfection, check out these great resources:

Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

Petra Kolber, The Perfection Detox