"I'm not good enough", "I need to do more, be more and achieve more" perfectionism nags,
its voice relentless, repetitive,
stopping you from believing,
from wholeheartedly living.
Perfectionism is a beast that suffocates effort,
inhales joy, vitality, appreciation and self-love.
Perfectionism visits, moves in and harasses many people,
some of whom you might never suspect.
It convinces you if you can 'look perfect', 'be exceptional', or 'please everyone',
you will avoid the painful arrows of judgement, shame and disappointment,
and be therefore assured of love, acceptance, validation and enduring control.
"Not good enough for who",
"according to what", I might ask . . .
[I might also wonder where this idea came from,
that being 'perfect' is even a 'thing'].
A deep striving for perfection is not born in us,
but a need to feel loved, validated and accepted certainly is.
Somewhere in our past, we were conditioned to perfectionism,
this happens in a variety of ways.
There is however - a new freedom to be found,
in choosing another way.
'Wabi-sabi' is a loving acceptance of the impermanence and imperfection of things,
an idea that invites us to believe we are yet more beautiful in our flawed state, not less.
It allows us to recognise the deeply human experiences of growth,
offered to us through failures, frustrations and disappointments.
If perfectionism relies on you believing what other's make of you matters most,
is the antidote to silencing it then, to remind yourself what you feel matters more?
If perfectionism relies on you feeling you're lovable without flaws,
is the antidote to cease the nagging then, to internalise tolerance, acceptance and self-compassion.
Hold realistic expectations (of yourself and others),
muster the courage and strength to honour your inherent vulnerability.
In this state we can be profoundly magnetic,
in a way only one whom is self-compassionate and self-accepting,
can ever truly be.
Let Wabi-sabi be your new guiding voice,
give it permission to silence Perfectionism,
once and for all!
Sources and further reading:
- The gifts of Perfection, Brene Brown, 2010
- The self-esteem trap, Polly Young-Eisendrath, 2008
- The confidence gap, Russ Harris, 2010.