My Perfection Hustle
As a little girl, I was fascinated with the musical "Mary Poppins."
As I expected, "Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way."
There was nothing that Mary Poppins could not do. And everything from her physical appearance to her speech was...practically perfect.
As a child I wanted to be like Mary Poppins winning people over with my practically perfect ways.
But perfection comes with a high price as I later learned.
Perfection is a great cover. People admire perfection. Just flip through the latest fashion magazine with pictures of the air-brushed and perfect models and you will understand.
The truth is we all have a love-hate relationship with perfection.
the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects.
Perfect is NOT human!
But it is a hustle for what we crave most: acceptance and belonging.
My perfection hustle trapped me in a cycle of doubt, fear, and depression. I put so much pressure on myself to "please/perform/perfect." And it left me exhausted.
Embracing imperfection was my way out.
I remember the days when people pointing out my imperfections left me feeling insecure and figuring out how I could "fix" myself so that would NOT happen again.
It wasn't until the day that I had a COMPLETE meltdown preparing for an event that I realized my perfect ways were a real problem. I couldn't get my hair right. I had a beautifully ugly zit right in the middle of my forehead. And then the zipper in my perfect dress picked to match my perfect pair of shoes ripped itself right from the seams.
Before I could catch myself I was in tears and in full panic mode.
It was my husband who rescued me. "Don't go," he said in his sincerest and most sympathetic tone. "Just stay home."
It was just what I needed to hear. The pressure to please/perform/perfect was instantly released.
What he did next was amazing. He wrapped his arms around me and said, "I love you just the way you are."
Yes, I really cried at this point. A full sob.
This meltdown showed me what I was doing to myself. And it was brutal.
I wish that I could say that I instantly gave up perfection that day. The truth is that it took me several more years and a couple of more panic attacks before I could let go. But let go I did.
I knew that I had conquered perfection the day that I became the butt end of a joke about one of my quirks. I didn't have a meltdown. I laughed and said "Love it, don't you?" Now that is freedom right there.
And that is the kind of freedom that causes you to embrace and love yourself and know that YOU MATTER.
It's the kind of freedom that I wish for all of my Unique friends.
The freedom to be imperfect.
And love it.
P.S. This is Day 1 of my journey with Dr. Brene Brown on The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You are Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. There is nothing like being FREE to be Your Unique. Let's do this journey together.