Things have been going really well for me lately.
My outside circumstances haven’t changed much. Work marches on and piles up, the to-do list is ever growing, I needed a haircut weeks ago, the studio is still a mess, Oregon is cold.
But for some reason, I’ve felt more able to let go of things. You see, I am a recovering perfectionist.
I think when people hear the word “perfectionist,” they think of some uptight, fussy Type A person who has to have everything just so and never makes mistakes.
I make mistakes all the time, and they drive me nuts. What being a perfectionist means to me is placing extremely high expectations on yourself, and treating yourself poorly when you don’t achieve them. Hell, treating yourself poorly when you DO achieve them. Nothing you do is good enough.
It’s pinning all your self-worth to your performance, whatever form that takes. Always striving, always comparing, always trying to be the best so that you feel lovable and worthy. It sucks.
Instead, I’ve been trying to focus on what genuinely makes me feel happy and creative, and going with that. I’ve focused more on experimentation and learning. I’ve made time for morning meditation and writing sessions. I’ve signed up for a couple classes. I’ve made time to spend having fun with Kenn and not talking about work. I’ve been writing about whatever interests me instead of what I think people want to hear.
It’s amazing to me how quickly my mind has begun to clear. A little bit of self-acceptance goes a long way, it seems.
Do you struggle with perfectionism? If so, you might like to read this book. It looks totally self-helpy (and it is), but I’ve gotten so much from it. Her TED talk on shame is awesome too, if you haven’t seen it.
While we’re on the subject, many of the links I’ve found this week are related to this subject.
- Loved this post on quitting Google Analytics. I keep finding that the less I look for outside validation in numbers, the more interesting stuff I produce.
- Seems everyone is reading this article on the cult of “do what you love.” Favorite quote: “No one is arguing that enjoyable work should be less so. But emotionally satisfying work is still work, and acknowledging it as such doesn’t undermine it in any way. Refusing to acknowledge it, on the other hand, opens the door to the most vicious exploitation and harms all workers.”
- This post from a masseuse on people’s real bodies will touch your heart.
- Accept it whether you can change it or not.
- Related to our Wardrobe Architect project, I loved this post: Intentionalist, not minimalist
- I found this post on privilege and ethical fashion very thoughtful.
- Tracking your free time. I kind of want to try this. Obviously, I love projects and experiments.
So what about you? Do you fight perfectionism?