Over the many years of sitting with counsellors and therapists to help me through the challenges life bought me that usually resulted in another bout of depression or anxiety, I recall some ‘pearls of wisdom’ that were shared with me as I desperately searched for an inner peace and a reprieve from the constant churn of anxiety within my head and body.
One such ‘pearl’ was when a counsellor suggested that when I find myself getting stuck in the repetition of over-correcting the smallest of details, whether it was a work project or icing a cake, he suggested I say ‘perfect enough Robbi, perfect enough’. Constant low-grade anxiety can drive you to playing out the incessant need for perfection; the underlying tape in my head playing was the ‘if I could just get this right, then it would be perfect’ (in other words, ‘if I could get this right then ‘I’ would be perfect, ‘I’ would be acceptable, ‘I’ would be enough) When this unconscious driver plays in the background of everything you do, it can rob you of the joy in the moment because you’re focusing instead on what isn’t right.
Giving myself the permission of being ‘perfect enough’ was a turning point to letting go of the anxiety of never feeling good enough. I just started saying ‘perfect enough’ out loud to myself when I found myself fussing and fretting and it was amazing how after time it enabled me to move through it and enjoy the moment, to enjoy the pleasure of what I was creating, or doing, or delivering. Perfect enough are powerful words for a perfectionist (or closet perfectionists for that matter).
I believe perfectionism is unachievable; striving for perfectionism is instead a sign of something else that needs to be addressed within. What is it that you feel about yourself that is ‘less than’ or ‘unacceptable’ or ‘not enough’ – when we discover our own value that we ‘perfect enough’ that we ‘more than enough’ and that we are ‘acceptable enough’ – then, and only then can you discover the beauty in your ‘imperfections’.