To the artist wrestling with perfectionism

We need you.

We need the art you’ve been sitting on, editing and over-thinking for years.

The songs that will never be ready.

The poems that will never be good enough.

The voice that will never hit every note just right.

The business that will never be free of imposter syndrome.

The work that will never be criticized.

We need you visible and we need you whole.

 

So this post is for you.

Saturated with love, compassion and support as you write a new future one choice at a time.

Know someone whose heart needs to hear this? Spread the love.

 

Perfection is a protective mechanism

It most likely protected you from pain associated with failure early on in your life.

Hyper-vigilance, attempting to manage and control situations and trying to get everything right was a way of keeping yourself safe.

As you try to move away from your perfectionism your body will be triggered by this which could feel like sensations of fear, anxiety or tightness. This is 100% okay and normal.

You will feel uncomfortable as you allow the imperfect.

Remember, trying to do everything „right“ was how you kept yourself safe, so relaxing around this often feels unsafe in the body.

This response will be subconscious and will take some time to heal:

Breathe.

Recognize that your body is trying to protect you.

Remind yourself that you are not in danger.

Do what you dan do to feel safe, loved, connected and worthy in this moment.

 

Perfectionism is encouraged by  our society in many ways

Success is often measured by status, performance, productivity, what we own or how much money we make.

A lack of context and cancel culture online has exacerbated our fear of getting it wrong.

Photoshop, filters and representation in media paints a very narrow picture of what we „should“ aim to look like.

Constantly receiving and absorbing these messages perpetuates our belief that we must be perfect to be worthy.

 

There is no perfect way to heal

Acknowledging perfectionist tendencies can awaken feelings of shame and embarrassment.

Which dan then lead to a desperate desire to heal and „get rid of“ the perfectionism ASAP.

As well as a need to „get it right“ and not slip up along the way.

If you find yourself in this cycle, remember that you are not broken, the road to acceptance isn’t linear and integrating through compassion is the goal.

 

Healing perfectionism doesn’t mean getting rid of the good parts

There are some beautiful traits that can be a part of your perfectionism.

You might be detail-oriented, organized, driven or can juggle multiple projects at once.

Detaching from perfectionism is not about erasing these, it is about recognizing that you are worthy regardless of the outcome.

Understanding that you’re intrinsically worthy even if you make a mistake, don’t get it right, let someone down or fail.

 

Start small

Again, remind yourself that this is a defense mechanism trying to keep you safe.

Jumping in the deep end, like taking a big risk in public, will set the alarm bells off at max volume.

Start with smaller steps and choices aiming to change the intention from „perfect“ to something else like easeful, hones, being curious or leaning into your humanness.

 

This journey is about embracing your humanness

The opposite of perfectionism is embracing your humanness. The perfectly imperfect, often messy and gloriously wild ride of being human.

Aiming to make choices fueled by compassion and self-generosity that bring you closer to wholeness.

Because your perfectionism was never what made your worthy, incredible, lovable or valuable in the first place. You just ARE.

 

Author unknown

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