This blog post was triggered by a conversation I had today. I want to write about imperfections and perfectionism. This is probably a topic we can all relate to at some point in our lives. To make it personal: it is definitely something I can relate to and have previously struggled with. It is not something that overrules every aspect of my life anymore, it rather focuses more on specific things. Previously, one thing I struggled with was that whenever it came to the content I created online or actually anything creative I produced, I felt it is not perfect which was a huge source of anxiety for me.
There was a time in my life when I worried that I am bad at being myself or being authentic which is a really important part of my life. When I take a step back or do not want to share certain private things, it is because vulnerability is still a scary thing for me. It is scary to admit that our life is not perfect.
I read The Gift of Imperfection by Brené Brown and one of my favorite quotes from the book is actually her definition of imperfections which is, that perfectionism is an addictive belief system that if we do everything perfectly we can avoid or minimize the chances of being judged, blamed or feeling ashamed. When I read that, I thought that this relates to me at so many levels. I am German, so being perfect is something that runs in our DNA. Feelings I previously had when I moved to the U.S. in 2005 were for example that I sounded weird because of my accent or I did not want to say anything at all to avoid feeling stupid or to reveal lack of knowledge. But it was not just about that. It was more about this underlying fear or attempt to avoid being judged for who I am or for what my life really looks like which was often really messy.
Life is sometimes messy and can throw us all over the place. Especially, if we are not grounded. According to our Energy Chakras, to be grounded means, we should feel stable and independent, have energy, vitality, and strength and are comfortable in our physical body, in groups or in the world as well as have a sense of belonging. We usually do not live the perfect life; at least not all of the time. When I mentioned “messy”, I am not necessarily talking about my kitchen or bathroom (German OCD Cleaning at its best!) but the complexity of all the struggles that I go through, the fears that I have, my relationships with others. But the reality is that nobody is perfect. Perfect does not exist. There is no such things as that. No matter what we do, judgment and criticism is always going to exist in our lives even if we try to make everything as perfect as possible or try to live up to these standards that we create for ourselves.
I think that living in this world these days with being exposed to social media everywhere and that we can reach out to anyone anytime it is important to realize that this is also a place where we compare our lives. Other people you see online with perfect polished images and seemingly perfect lives can distract and put you down. It can give you the feeling that you are not good or adequate enough. Or it may give you the feeling that you need to have what they have to be happy, and be accepted, worthy and all those things.
For a lot of us, perfectionism also manifests as a deep fear of putting anything into the world that is imperfect or quite not what we want it to be. Or we have this fear of failure, to make a mistake or we don’t do the thing we want to do because we feel we will mess up. It is the difference between striving to achieve something as best as we can versus being so fixated on the things that do not matter such as what other people think is good or how others perceive us. Perfectionism can be such a paralyzing part of life. There was a point in my life where I literally had to force myself to feel this discomfort of what I perceive to be imperfect by simply telling myself: It is fine. You are enough. It is enough. It will do. Because that is how I feel I rise above anything in life that I am afraid of. Sort of like doing it anyway, feeling it, experiencing it and gaining confidence in that way by understanding that perfection does not exist.
F*** Botox and plastic surgery! I feel that imperfections shape me into who I am in so many different ways. They are what makes me quirky, unique and different and I am able to sit down and embrace those and accept what makes me me. I am my own unique opinion, belief, preference, and style and that is when I can really be liberated. This is when I can ultimately relate to others realizing that we go through all the same bs*** anyway. It is okay to be ourselves. It is okay to not be perfect. It is okay to have wrinkles. We do not have to be someone else to fit in or any of those thoughts to be enough; because we already are.