I am a recovering perfectionist.
I like order. I like things to be clean, organized, and put in their place. I sleep better at night when my surroundings are clutter-free. The same goes for my heart. I like order in my thought life and in my relationships. I prefer when life is going smoothly. Most of us do, right? Even it when it boils down to the things I strive to do. I hate failing at things and I don’t like to struggle, period. It all points back to this desire to be perfect. I used to think perfection would bring contentment but it has only has created tension in my heart and negative patterns in my thought life.
You see, when my life feels out of order, when I don’t feel like I am performing at my best as a mom, wife, friend, or leader, I panic. I don’t want to mess up because to me “struggling” has always felt like a weakness.
My husband says often, “You are only as strong as you are honest.”
I had to get honest with myself, my husband, and seek help from a counselor a few years back. I was in a hard place. I didn’t feel strong nor confident in who I was at the time. I didn’t like me, therefore I believed others didn’t like me either. I was drowning in insecurity. I had developed unhealthy habits when it came to perfection longer than I’d like to admit all while tirelessly trying to gain everyone’s approval. I wanted to be in a different space but I didn’t know how to get there. (Let’s pause here for a moment.)
Fast forward to now and I just had my 30th birthday back in June. If you are in my Asheville circle, you may have heard me share how excited I was about about turning 30. My husband even threw me a surprise party and I loved celebrating with my people.
Why 30? My thirties to me felt like a new chapter. I am a more confident me as a thirty year old. Even as I type this my body feels at ease. I know myself. I know there is still more to discover as I get older but I have been ready to start a new decade as a new me. My twenties were full of transition, change, and a lot of digging into my past. I was carrying so much baggage for so long and I know I worked really hard for this new me.
What changed you ask? Simple.
I have set down the desire to be perfect.
I have set down the unrealistic expectations I had for myself and others. I have set down the lies that I believed for so long about who I was, who I wanted to be, and what I believed other’s thought of me. I have asked God every day to remind me of my worth through His eyes and to show me what he wanted me to confidently do with my life. I am happily doing those things now. I have found the real me. I like who I am. I can express with confidence, perfection has no hold on me like it once did!
Maybe you are a die hard perfectionist and you feel weighed down by your expectations. I so know the feeling and I want to offer you hope.
It may take some digging and prodding but believe me, you are as strong as you are honest about this. Don’t get to the end of your life wishing you would’ve given yourself more grace and time to evolve into the person you were meant to be. Start now. Do it Today.
Maybe that means making an appointment with a counselor. Maybe it means “shaking hands with yourself” and acknowledging where you are currently at in your struggles and embracing help. It’s so hard to get honest with ourselves but the journey is worth it. Maybe it means creating healthy habits when it comes your thought life. Maybe it means getting back to the the things you love and fill you up with passion and drive. Maybe it means finding friends who you can be honest with about your desire to be perfect.
Believe me, it feels good on this side. You have the power to be free from perfection. I want to see you strut your stuff with confidence. I want to see you say YES to brave dreams and do hard things. You can put yourself out there as a more confident you and fail forward when life throws you lemons. I am rooting for you. Let’s kick perfection to the curb. Me and you. Are you with me?