I call myself a “recovering perfectionist.” My perfectionistic tendencies use to hold me back. I have found victory in many areas but it’s a fight that will likely never end. I’d like to make a suggestion to my fellow perfectionists…
become an imperfectionist.
It’s not enough to say that you want to stop being a perfectionist…you have to actually embrace being an imperfectionist.
I’ll never forget when I said to a friend, “Everyone knows I’m not perfect,” and she actually guffawed and said something like, “Duh, no kidding!” as if it were soooo obvious all the time to all the people.
I actually bristled at that comment like, “Wait a minute…EVERYONE KNOWS???”
That’s when I knew I had a problem. In the years since, I’ve been a practicing imperfectionist and with every victory, I feel more freedom and more peace. One of my mantras is “people first.” Taking care of people and making them feel comfortable is more important than my homemade lemon cake or embroidered linen napkins.
So. here’s how MY imperfectionism looks:
- I host events and invite people over even when I have cracked kitchen tiles, a fifteen-year-old couch and mismatched dishes.
- I hit “publish” or “send” without it being 100% perfect. I catch old mistakes on my blogs at least once/week and it makes me smile now instead of cringe.
- I take the first step without being sure of where I’m going. For someone who likes to be in control, this is one of the hardest for me.
- I agree to stuff waaaayyy outside of my comfort zone. And I don’t back out.
- I celebrate my friends’ quirks. I love surrounding myself with imperfect people because it inspires me to be more authentic.
- I make a lot of mistakes…then learn from them and move on.
- I make decisions based on criteria that goes beyond “to make other people happy.”
- I dress and decorate to suit MY style and taste, not what’s trendy or “cool.”
- I publicize pictures of my messes and my “befores” and encourage people to do things imperfectly.
Your list will look different. Your list will be based on what helps you celebrate being YOU and valuing what matters to you over being seen as perfect all the time.
Maybe you need to get the message, too…no one thinks you’re perfect. So give up the act.
When you’re more authentic, you give other people permission to be more authentic, too.
When I teach blogging classes, I tell people, “Write about your mistakes and struggles. People want to read your post and think, ‘Me, too!'” The more my posts show my imperfections, the more they are commented on and shared. Every. Time.
Let’s face it, perfect is boring. Being an imperfectionist is a blast!
And now, here are two of my favorite imperfectionists. I hope they can help you on your journey like they’ve helped me.
The Nester’s mantra is “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.” I wrote about her here. Her book (it’s $2.99 for the Kindle version right now!) and her blog are like balm to the soul of an imperfectionist.
I LOVE The Cure for the ‘Perfect’ Life: 12 Ways to Stop Trying Harder and Start Living Braver by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory. In it, you discover how to fight the bully of perfectionism. It’s powerful–and practical. I always have this book at my resource table when I do events.
You can also purchase one here:
The world has enough impossible standards to live up to. How about you resolve to live at a reasonable standard…and hold others to a realistic standard, too?
Imperfectionists of the world unite!
See more imperfection on my “Imperfectly Beautiful” Pinterest board:
Tell me how YOUR imperfectionism looks! Tweet to @tabithadumas or come on over to the Facebook page to keep the conversation going.