A letter to my younger, perfectionist self…
Dear you, yes you the perfectionist,
Drop the armour. Each day you awake and you put on your armour. You can’t see it and neither can they, but you can feel it. It’s heavy, it’s restrictive and it’s weighing you down. Your invisible armour is called perfectionism, it’s the art of never enough.
You wear it to protect you, because it makes you play safe. It holds you back from swinging from the rooftops and declaring your best, rather it makes you sheepishly hold something out with heavy arms and declare it ‘ok’. Why? Because it seems like the criticism of something you’ve declared ‘ok’ is going to hurt less than the criticism of something you’ve laid on the line as your best work. But let’s face it, criticism hurts, don’t let the armour fool you into thinking it can protect you.
It’s easier to dance around an idea and wait for external validation rather than dive in and hope that someone follows. It’s easier to play the perfectionist and hold on to an idea until you can have all the elements laid out in front of you, every single detail covered so that you can sit back and see the destination before you’ve even started the journey. But often the best destinations are way out of sight when the journey begins. They say if you start with a success you’ve waited too long.
The armour reminds you each day that you’re not enough. But when you wake up each day and tell yourself that you’re not enough, it’s hard to be anything but. What we tell ourselves becomes our reality.
It’s ok to strive for perfection, because perfectionism can keep you pushing, but don’t let it paralyse you and don’t let it define you
You are enough
You are worthy
You are not perfect
You don’t need to be