Releasing the Pressure to Be Perfect

We strive for perfection because we aren't fulfilled or satisfied with the current state we are in. We believe that if we work harder, buy the big house, get the promotion (live the picture perfect life) then we will be happy. We get caught up in what we *should* and *need* to be doing to make that "perfect" life happen and lose sight of what we really *want* to be doing. Our thoughts and choices are rooted in anxiety and fear.

What will everyone think of me if I don't do that?

What if I let everyone down?

What if I fail?

If I don't work long hours I'll get fired or I won't get promoted.

Our society, parents, eduction and the media play a massive role in this. Many of us are told from a very young age that if we don't get a college education or masters degree or make a lot of money we will be striped of happiness. Why? Because, we as a collective society, associate happiness and success with things. Money can certainly make life easier, but it does not guarantee fulfillment or joy.

What if we could unlearn everything that we have about what success and perfection look like and choose this for ourselves. Sign me up, right? Where do we begin....

  1. Get extremely confident and clear around YOUR values. Not the values you grew up with, but the values that you, yourself believe in. Here's an incredible list Brene Brown and her team have put together for you to reflect on.

  2. Use your values to identify thoughts, emotion and actions that are extremely important to you. For example, if you go through this exercise and you determine you value health, yet you aren't making any time to exercise, eat healthy or tap into your creativity, what changes are you going to make to live into this value?

  3. Reframe perfection. There is always opportunity to grow and learn, right? There's no way (even in a lifetime) we can learn everything about anything. Which means, we can never really be perfect. You are going to fail, you are going to make mistakes. What if we could look at these situations as opportunities to grow rather than set backs? Imperfection is actually a gift, as long as we don't judge it and simply get curious with it. Imperfection allows us to reflect on what didn't work and make different choices next time.

  4. Live life for YOU. Glennon Dyole has an incredible quote, "This life is mine alone. So I have stopped asking people for directions to places they've never been." When we live life according to our own internal compass, we release the need to be perfect because we aren't trying to please or impress anyone but ourselves.

This is not something that happens over night. In fact, it's a life long journey full of setbacks, resets and pivots. Choosing your authentic values over perfection is hard because it goes against everything we've been conditioned to measure success by. As a helpful reminder, there are a lot of people living in their big houses, with their important jobs and fancy titles that seem to "have it all" but when you peel back all of the "perfection" there's nothing but emptiness inside.

Who are you living for? How are you going to make investments in you?