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