It was around 1 A.M. on a Monday morning when I began my third rewrite of an English assignment. Normally, I write with confidence, unafraid of making mistakes or soundings foolish. However, this assignment was going to be reviewed by a group of my peers instead of an anonymous grader who I’d never meet. It had to be perfect! I needed it to be perfect…It wasn’t until a few weeks later that I looked back on that night and asked myself:
“Why was it so important for me to be seen as perfect by my peers?”
Feeling accepted by others is a desire all humans have. We’re social beings and let’s face it…. rejection hurts. In a very literal sense, new research shows our brain processes rejection the same way it processes actual physical pain. I realized that striving for perfection solely for the acceptance of others was an unacceptable way to “fit in.” I caused myself so much stress and agitation. The thing is, I don’t want to fit in anymore… I want to belong. Fitting in is just being a part of a group, you’re replaceable and as soon as the façade you put up falls, so will your “friendships.” Belonging, is when you’re truly accepted by those around you, and comes when you are your genuine self.
I am not perfect and I love that about me. My imperfections don’t make me unworthy of acceptance or love, they make me human, they make me fun. If there’s any advice I can give to another perfectionist trying to achieve sanity, it’s this:
- Embrace it: I mean really learn to love yourself as you are. In fact, don’t view yourself as imperfect, call yourself unique. You will find that when you accept yourself, the most unique version of yourself will come shining through.
- Learn to forgive yourself and others: Forgiving yourself frees you from the burdens you create by not living up to your “perfect” standards. Don’t settle for anything less than your best and forgive yourself when you fall short. Forgiving others, is your way of embracing their imperfections uniqueness. Give someone the same leniency you would want them to give you.
- Relinquish control: Understanding you can’t always dictate a situation and things won’t always go the way you have planned out in your head. Just be okay with it, change what you can, accept what you can’t and don’t get so caught up in things being a certain way that you forget to enjoy the moment.
One reason I took so long to create new content for this blog is because I was afraid of it not being perfect. I still want it to be the best it can be but I’m just happy that it’s going at all 🙂