How do you feel when you make mistakes? For me, even the thought that I might make a mistake can be paralyzing. I am tempted to analyze every way that things may go wrong before taking a single step. Why, you might ask? I am a recovering perfectionist, and old habits die hard.
Each day, I wake up with the intention to go with the flow and release my fears. However, when life gets difficult–which can happen on a moment’s notice–I find myself clinging tightly to the way I used to do things. I want to hug the safe shore, to fall back into the familiar patterns of what I know best. While I felt the need to be in control in the past, I was often anything but as I tried to steer life according to my own expectations.
I wasn’t truly comfortable with myself, because I was more of a taskmaster than a friend.
In this space, there was never room for ‘good enough’ or a shade of gray. Facing failure or uncertainty filled me with anxiety. I tried to carefully evaluate every decision and intensely push myself towards success. Oddly enough, I felt at the time that this motivated me to stay focused on my goals. However, it made life a series of high-pressure situations, one after the other. I wasn’t truly comfortable with myself, because I was more of a taskmaster than a friend. I never felt completely victorious or settled, because no matter what I had accomplished, just around the corner was the next challenge that would require me to prove myself, to start the quest for validation all over again. This cycle would later prove exhausting and unsustainable. I continued to work harder and harder to satisfy my own expectations of perfection, a moving target that was always out of my grasp.
In the end, what I was missing was love for myself. I could not fathom an unconditional acceptance of who I was, apart from my achievements, flaws and all. I often gave my time and support without measure to others, as their appreciation served as external validation–a substitute for the validation I could not give myself. I didn’t accept my innate worth, apart from what I did or what others thought of me.
On this blog, I will share with you my own journey, and the lessons I have learned along the way. I will ask powerful questions designed to help you engage in this experience for yourself. The goal in the end is to retire the overachiever and embrace your authentic self. I encourage you to read the question below and post your response in the comments section. Also, please sign up for the site and receive a free guide as a thank you for joining me. Note: If you don’t receive an immediate confirmation, check your spam folder. Thanks!
All my best,