How to Overcome Perfectionism and Accept Your Flaws

Inside of me lies this inherent desire to excel — furthermore, a desire to be perfect. From early on I found great satisfaction in my efforts to achieve perfectionism. It fueled my early achievements and future goals for myself in such a way that I took pride in my work and found fulfillment in how others perceived me. At some point along my journey, I let this unrelenting desire to be perfect begin to control my thoughts, desires, and actions. It became an exhausting journey; one I knew I could never live up to. My quest for perfection led to a fear of failure, a fear of disapproval by others, and ultimately doomed me to living with an anxiety disorder. Everything I did became an analyzation of what I could have done better and a continual over-critical mindset about myself.

Overcoming Perfectionism | stylemissmolly.com

The Imperfect Boss

When Ashley Beaudin approached me to join #TheImperfectBoss movement, I was excited to have the opportunity to be authentic and raw with my followers. And yet, at the same time I was apprehensive to expose the part of me I try to cover up. These are the flaws I see in myself. Why would I want to share them with the world? I examined the power behind embracing my flaws and sharing them with a community of women and was struck by Ashley’s purpose:

To empower you to get free so that you can do your thing that you feel called to vulnerably and wholeheartedly. Be liberated from the pressure of perfect.

I am encouraged to join this movement because I know I am not alone. Today, I am choosing to embrace my imperfections. With far too many to count, I am sharing 30 gut-wrenching struggles and imperfections that were hard to type (and especially hit post!). I share them to be authentic, to free myself of the desire to be perfect, and to inspire other women to be vulnerable as well. Perhaps you too share one or more of these struggles, and if that’s the case, know that we are in this together.

30 “Flaws” You Don’t Know About Me
  1. I go to therapy weekly to overcome my struggle with perfectionism.
  2. I often feel guilty taking time for myself.
  3. Since starting my business, there hasn’t been one day that I haven’t worked.
  4. If I’m not busy I feel like a failure.
  5. I struggle with the balance between work and play.
  6. I fight the ability to be confident and fearless.
  7. I often compare myself to others.
  8. I battle with anxiety and depression.
  9. Even though I write it in every post, I often forget to “keep smiling” myself.
  10. I have so many ideas for my business but don’t follow through with them for fear of failure.
  11. I start and stop many projects without ever finishing them.
  12. I keep putting off my dream of writing a book.
  13. I let stress take over when I feel overwhelmed.
  14. I often see people with way more followers than me as more successful.
  15. I have to remind myself that likes and comments do not equal my value.
  16. I struggle with productivity.
  17. I have let my anxiety and introverted nature keep me from many social events.
  18. I suffer from panic attacks.
  19. I have the hardest time keeping on top of the emails in my inbox.
  20. I worry I will never reach the expectations I set for myself.
  21. I spend too much time on my phone instead of enjoying the world around me.
  22. Social media is so much of my job and still drives me crazy.
  23. I critique my body all the time.
  24. I take about 200 photos for a photo-shoot and only use about 10 of them.
  25. I want to give up at times.
  26. I am obsessive and overcritical about my Instagram feed.
  27. I struggle with self-worth and wonder what so many people see in me.
  28. I sometimes wonder if I am even making a difference in people’s lives.
  29. I question whether I am capable enough of being successful at running my own business.
  30. I often don’t listen to my own advice.Overcoming Perfectionism | stylemissmolly.com

Even in writing this list I feared that it will change the way others perceive me. However, by admitting them to the world, I feel better already knowing that you get to know the real me — the imperfect me. I am positive and optimistic, but I am not perfect. I, like everyone else, am constantly learning and working on becoming a better person.

I want to remind you (as much as myself) that we are not defined by our shortcomings. We are not born perfect, we are not supposed to be perfect, nor will we ever achieve being perfect. So why strive for it? Keep being yourself, embrace the reality of your imperfections, and look for the desire to learn and grow — not to be perfect. And please, keep smiling through it all! I know it can be hard to do at times, but you are worth so much more than you give yourself credit for and deserve to be proud of your accomplishments and the person you are!

4 Ways to Overcome Perfectionism
  1. Change your perception.
    These flaws are my reality, but they do not define me. My most popular error in thinking is the “all-or-nothing” mentality. Just because we are not always perfect doesn’t mean we are always failing. If you choose to see your flaws in a different light and accept that you cannot possibly be perfect all the time, you will experience a freedom from the harmful mindset of perfectionism.
  2. Focus on the positive.
    Every time you let a negative thought come into your mind, refute it right away. You have the right to defend yourself because you are so much more than your negative thoughts. Remind yourself of your value, and if you’re feeling stuck, have a friend do it for you. That’s what friends are for!
  3. Practice self-care.
    Taking time for yourself is extremely necessary. Sleep, drinking water, exercise, and relaxing activities are all vital to being in the right mindset. When I take the time to take care of myself, I feel refreshed, less stressed, and ultimately, less hard on myself.
  4. Be vulnerable.
    Admitting my imperfections today was extremely hard, but incredibly relieving. Vulnerability helps me overcome perfectionism by accepting that flaws are nothing more than my humanity. The more we can open up and be vulnerable with each other, the more authentic and free you will feel.

Overcoming Perfectionism | stylemissmolly.com

Keep smiling!

Miss Molly


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You can also find me on Pinterest to see things that “pin-spire” me, Twitter to learn more about what makes me smile, Facebook, because let’s face it I’m on there too much, and of course, Instagram, which is basically my favorite place to hang out with you all! “See” you there!

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Miss Molly

I’m Molly! I live in Seattle and am an optimist, adventurer, and bold lipstick wearer. I created this space to inspire and empower women with words of encouragement known as #MollysWords and share inspiration through my personal style. I always want my readers to leave with a smile and I hope you do!

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31 Comments

  1. Kait Elizabeth
    October 5, 2016 / 8:27 am

    Molly, I feel like you wrote that list for me. I struggle with EVERY single one of those things and guess what- you’re not the only one who goes to therapy weekly! I feel like anxiety and depression completely take over and it can be a battle to overcome. Thank you for being so open and honest; I know I couldn’t be the only crazy one!!!! Sending you lots of hugs, Kait
    http://www.baskinginburgundy.com
    PS: I seriously can’t wait to meet you!!!

  2. October 5, 2016 / 9:37 am

    This is AMAZING! You have got some great advice. I struggle with so much of the same things. I am often so stressed out that I get paralyzed and fear takes over. Self-care has been huge for me, and I set a goal of running more often (because I am always in a good mood after a run!) I don’t go very fast but I go! I constantly try to be more positive, and have even learned to check myself when talking to the people I love most because I want them to be positive too!
    Another great post!
    xoxo
    Ashley | http://ablondeandabriefcase.com/

  3. October 5, 2016 / 9:51 am

    Thank you for being so open about your struggles with depression. I want to get to a place where people understand that mental health is as real as any other health issue. Remember that it’s something you have and not something you are, and we’ll all get through it together! Another thoughtful post.
    Thank you,
    Casey

  4. Taylor Smith
    October 5, 2016 / 11:57 am

    Girl. I relate to almost every one of these. Thank you for writing this. I struggle so badly with perfectionism. I struggle with anxiety. I have the biggest dreams and plans for my business but often do not follow through because I fear I will fail. I’m working so hard to overcome those and make my business successful!

  5. Thomas Falkenstedt
    October 5, 2016 / 12:44 pm

    Molly, let’s set one thing straight here. You can erase “issue 28” from your list as you are making an impact in my life. By being open, vulnerable and honest about your imperfections and shortcomings you’re allowing me to feel the same way about mine. I’m a huge perfectionist and just like you I actually go to therapy for that. I’m so glad you opened up and let us see the real Molly. I’m here for you and am so incredibly happy about this post as I’m not alone apparently.
    And you know what… Let’s both keep smiling! 🙂

    Love,
    Thomas

    http://www.thomasfalkenstedt.com/

  6. October 5, 2016 / 1:08 pm

    Oh sweet Molly-girl, this was like reading my own story. I understand these challenges so intensely and struggle with them on the daily as well. I feel like we are definitely kindred spirits. Know that I love who you are – flaws and all – because you are YOU and you’re so beautiful, inside and out. You encourage people more than any blogger I know and it means so much to me. I love reading your posts so much because you’re always so real and vulnerable. You’re attainable and I feel like you’re just one of my girlfriends rather than a blogger I’ve never personally met. Thanks for being a bright light in every one of your readers’ lives ❤️

  7. October 5, 2016 / 2:19 pm

    LOVED this post Molly! Seriously, my favorite of yours. I can relate to so much of everything you wrote. It’s so funny how I never in a million years would’ve guessed any of those things about you (except maybe the 200 photos to only use 10, because #bloggerlife lol). I love how you mentioned being vulnerable as a way to overcome perfectionism (and anxiety/depression). I remember being in group therapy and wanting to hold onto all my pain, but it was explained to me that each time we are vulnerable and share our pain, it’s like handing a little bit of the weight off to someone else to help us out. If we do it enough times, we finally realize we are lighter. To quote Corey Matthews on Girl Meets World “people need people” and I am so happy our paths have crossed!

    xoxo, Rachel | http://www.theconfusedmillennial.com

  8. Leah Schomberg
    October 5, 2016 / 4:16 pm

    This post is so raw and real. I can relate to everything you’ve shared on some level. It takes a lot of strength to be so open and vulnerable. I look up to you a lot as a new blogger. Much love to you 🙂

    -Leah
    http://Www.bloomboutiqueblog.wordpress.com

  9. Shell Peterson
    October 5, 2016 / 4:21 pm

    Molly, I really needed this post. Thank you!
    Your heart is so beautiful and you are lovely inside and out.
    Thank you for being open and honest and inspiring others.
    You have no idea how refreshing this post was!
    xo, Shell
    http://acourageousbeauty.com

  10. Athena Alex
    October 5, 2016 / 5:29 pm

    Molly, THANK YOU for this post and I’m so happy I took the time to read it. I hope you know you are not alone! And you ARE SO making a difference and having an impact on people’s lives! I can relate to almost every single “flaw” you wrote of and it’s so comforting and inspiring to know that other people are thinking the same things, especially someone with such a successful blog. Thank you for being so open and know that not one person reading this thinks lesser of you for writing this. This post has only made me think more of you and the amazing human being you are! So hang in there girl, you’re killin’ it! And again, THANK YOU! <3

    Athena
    http://www.athenaalex.com

  11. October 5, 2016 / 5:45 pm

    Girl – it’s like you read my mind. I struggle with perfectionism and it keeps my from doing so many things. I feel like a failure in almost every aspect of my life. I’m sorry that you struggle with these things too. I’m really trying to focus on #2 – focus on the positive – but it’s so hard! I actually have a post about that coming up on Friday. Thanks so much for being vulnerable! You are not alone!
    ~Jessica
    Jeans and a Teacup

  12. Linh Dao
    October 5, 2016 / 7:04 pm

    I love this post! You inspire me. Honestly, I thought I was the only one that feels this way and is the same way. I have just as many and so many of the same flaws as you! I completely understand. Thank you for sharing!

  13. October 5, 2016 / 7:19 pm

    Molly – For starters, I absolutely loved this post and appreciate you being so open about your struggle with perfectionism. I’m the exact same way and it truly is so difficult to overcome. Just know, you’re certainly not alone!

    Thank you!
    Kenzie
    http://simplyjandk.com/

  14. October 6, 2016 / 6:35 am

    I actually started crying reading this! It made me so sad to know that you’re going through this Molly, just know that you are not alone in this battle though. I can relate to everything that you’ve said here. I too want so much to go to social events but get so scared with new people that I may make a fool of myself and be harshly judged or bullied again. I started going to counselling after mounting big stresses and personal heartaches built up over the past 8 years and I broke down on my lunch-break at work. It’s getting much better now though. Thank you for always being open and honest in your writing. I can say with certainty that you certainly make a positive impact in so many peoples’ lives with your positive, genuine personality and openness Next time that I’m down in Seattle, if you’re around it’d be lovely to meet up for a coffee if you can.

    Huge hugs!!
    xoxo Ellie
    http://www.maplesyrupandteacups.blogspot.com

  15. October 6, 2016 / 7:55 am

    this is so brave & i really admire you putting this out there. the truth is, SO many people feel this way but most keep these feelings hidden in fear of admitting something not everyone is able to admit. writing posts like this are so helpful and important for other people (especially women) out there who need to know they’re not alone in some of these thoughts. stay strong, you’re amazing!

  16. October 6, 2016 / 9:51 am

    I have similar anxiety and controls issues.
    I feel like I need to do everything on my own and perfectly.
    Of course, it does not work out well for me or my family at times.
    These are some really great thoughts. Thank you for sharing!
    Richa | Fancier’s World

  17. Robin Lee
    October 6, 2016 / 1:21 pm

    Molly,
    Such a beautiful blog post! This is what makes your blog so special. Always informing readers and being honest is greatly appreciative and allows us to relate to you! I indeed can relate to several you mention especially the emails! It’s so hard to keep up lol! If you find a great system that works please do share! 🙂
    – Robin.
    Runway Teacher
    Runwayteacher.com

  18. Monika
    October 6, 2016 / 2:18 pm

    It takes immense courage to be vulnerable and share your deepest/scariest secrets. Thank you Molly for doing this. You have such a great online presence and I know alot of people out there are thanking you for showing that even the most brightest people have insecurities. Hope you have a great day 🙂

    Monika | http://www.palateforstyle.com

  19. October 6, 2016 / 4:18 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing all of those little tid-bits about you. I honestly relate to every single thing you said and I think a lot of people do. You should be so proud of yourself for sharing such a vulnerable part of yourself.

    La Belle Sirene

  20. October 6, 2016 / 7:28 pm

    Sometimes I feel that people think confidence means never being affected by your flaws. No. It involves knowing your flaws, accepting them, and recognizing what you want to change, what you can change, and what you should change – based on your priorities. It took me a while, myself, to understand true emotional strength, for example. I used to think it meant not feeling anything negative. But really it’s to feel it, accept it, and move past it quickly. It’s human. Humans are flawed, yes, but also resilient. As are you, beautiful.

    http://www.dressupchowdown.com

  21. Zana Djakovic
    October 7, 2016 / 2:10 am

    Wow Molly! I love your blog posts because you are so good at writing. But mostly because I can feel your true emotion! This was not easy to share, let’s be honest. I can relate myself to some things from this list like: 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 24, 28, 29.
    I think that you are on a really good way right now, because you are able to “admit”all these things – which I think wasn’t easy at all.
    You are truly truly beautiful inside and out Molly! Keep that in mind.
    Lots of love!

    Žana

  22. Leah Remillét
    October 7, 2016 / 2:31 am

    What an absolutely great, great post! No judgments, only love! Honesty and vulnerability are what make us each real. Thank you for sharing yours!

  23. October 8, 2016 / 7:35 am

    Thank you so much for such an honest and open post, Molly. I can relate to everything you wrote here as I have struggled with perfectionism pretty much all my life. I feel like the majority of your 30 flaws also apply to me, especially the not following through my ideas because of fear of failure!
    Thank you for sharing this with us,
    Julia x
    http://www.thevelvetrunway.com

  24. Kelly Alex
    October 10, 2016 / 7:24 am

    This post is amazing! We struggle with a lot of these things as well. Thank you for sharing this makes us realize that we aren’t the only ones who feel this way.

  25. October 23, 2016 / 9:48 am

    You know how I feel about this post. <3 Best one yet. Teared up reading it!

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