Bye, Bye Perfectionism: Embracing the Flaws that Make Us Freakin' Awesome!

Bye, Bye Perfectionism: Embracing the Flaws that Make Us Freakin' Awesome!

Alright, friend, let me tell you about the time I went skiing for the first time. Spoiler alert: it was a hot mess.

So there I was, 21 years old and convinced by my husband to hit the slopes. Now, hubs had been skiing his whole life, but I had never even seen a pair of skis up close. So of course, I was all like "I got this! How hard could it be?"

Well, let me tell you, it was hard. Real hard. We started on the bunny hill, and I couldn't even stay upright for two seconds. Meanwhile, three-year-olds were zipping by me like it was no big deal.

But did I give up? Oh no. My perfectionist tendencies kicked in and I was determined to tackle a beginner hill. And you know what happened? I rolled down the whole dang thing like a giant snowball. My husband tried to save me, but he ended up getting knocked over too. It was a total wipeout, but at least we went down together, amirite?

After that hilariously devastating ski trip, I haven't been skiing since. But in the years since that embarrassing day on the slopes, I've realized that my ski disaster was just the tip of the iceberg. I've identified lots of things in my life that I've only tried once, but quit as soon as I realized I wasn't any good. That fear of failure and the need for perfection has held me back from truly living my life.

And I know I'm not alone in this struggle. As women, we're often taught that we need to be perfect. Perfect bodies, perfect mothers, perfect wives, perfect homemakers...the list goes on. But the truth is, perfectionism is not a quest for the best, but a pursuit of the worst in ourselves. It's stifling. It's a dead end. 

So how do we beat our perfectionism? It's not easy, but it starts with small steps. For me, it's been about identifying those moments when I'm holding myself back because I'm afraid of not being perfect. Awareness. Then asking myself some really good questions."Where did I learn this? Why did I believe it? How can I prove it wrong?" Then I start with something small. Maybe I've wanted to paint a room in my house but been scared about taking the plunge. So with that awareness and the good questions, I literally give myself permission to just paint the damn wall and I am allowed to not like it. 

The art of soap making has been an unexpected but wonderful teacher in my journey of letting go of perfectionism. Soap making requires a certain level of planning and precision, but sometimes things don't go according to plan. Maybe the batter seizes, or the fragrance doesn't behave as expected. These moments used to trigger my perfectionism, making me want to give up or start over. However, through the process of soap making, I have learned to quickly change my plans and improvise. I've learned to let go of the pursuit of my predetermined perfection and let the flow of the process teach me a better way. Soap making has gently complemented my journey towards self-love and acceptance, reminding me that it's okay to embrace imperfection and find beauty in the unexpected.

You are allowed to make mistakes. You are allowed to roll down a ski hill that 3 year olds conquer. You are allowed to look dumb at a work out class. You are allowed to hate the shade of green you picked for your accent wall. The permission takes away the pressure and the pressure going away let's you live a little more free and play again.

It's also about reminding ourselves that we are enough, exactly as we are. We don't need to be perfect to be worthy of love and respect. And when we can embrace our imperfections and celebrate our genuine selves, that's when the real magic happens.

So to all my fellow perfectionists out there: let's take a deep breath, let go of our need for perfection, and start living our lives a little more freely. We've got this!

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