“Be messy and complicated and afraid and show up anyway.”
A Mint Sweater girl strives for growth, not perfection. She strives to be undeniably herself and gives herself grace when she isn’t her best. A Mint Sweater girl aspires to show up with her whole heart, flaws and all.
It isn’t easy.
Bravery doesn’t come from the lack of fear, bravery is created when you persevere shaking, heart pounding, with fear screaming in your ears.
Power lies within knowing that there will never be “the perfect time” and you will never be perfect or ready before a new beginning.
Today we are going to dive deep in what it means to stop letting perfection, paralyze you before you even begin and start accepting your imperfections to allow authenticity to lead you towards moving forward.
How often do you really struggle with starting projects or completing them because it has to be perfect or “it doesn’t have to be perfect it just has to be at least good?”
Dealing with perfectionism has become one of the most common struggles of today, but why? When did this all start?
The best question to ask here is…why does it matter?
Why do we need things to be perfect, why does it matter so much to us?
I think the answer that pops into most of our minds first is: because we are afraid of judgment from others, if it’s perfect we won’t hear anything negative or we will get praise or people will like us.
But sometimes that isn’t even the case either. For me, I noticed a lot when I was struggling with perfectionism that I was so stressed about everything being perfect that I didn’t even care what others thought, it just HAD to be perfect.
That was just the way it was.
So how do we let go of perfection? How do we allow ourselves to begin and show up exactly the way we are?
To let go of perfection there are three mindsets you need to have:
1.) Understanding why perfectionism doesn’t work for you.
Take a moment and think about how the perfection syndrome impacts you. How does it serve you? Does it help you? Are there so many good things about it that you can write a list? Or can you only think of how it isn’t good for you? If you write because it motivates you to work harder or do better in the ‘pro’ list, you and I both know you can thrive and grow without the stress of perfectionism. Don’t try and hold on to something that doesn’t serve you. Instead, recognize how perfection doesn’t serve you. All that frustration, procrastination, and those paralyzing feelings and never good enough thoughts…let’s be honest that doesn’t feel good. Perfection gets in the way, it gets in YOUR way. The message here is perfectionism is an obstacle preventing you from either starting or finishing something that could be really great.
2.) Recognizing the exhaustion and heavy weight of perfectionism.
This was the biggest game changer for me. What really motivated me to drop the heavy burden of perfectionism was the weight I felt carrying it around with me on everything I tried to do. It was exhausting and I grew tired of the expectation, the standards, the endless battles of trying to make everything perfect. I didn’t want that weighing on me anymore. In all honesty, I just got really sick of it. I was done. Take a moment to remember how you felt when things just weren’t working or weren’t turning out the way you wanted them. When you think of those emotions, can you feel how heavy they are on your heart and shoulders? Can you feel your head just ready to explode? Perfectionism is too heavy of a burden to carry around, allow yourself to get completely fed up with it.
3.) Seeing the light on the other side when you release the impossible standards of perfectionism.
Once you find clarity as to why perfectionism works against you and feel the way it weighs you down more than it creates flow in your life, you can move closer to being able to understand how it feels when you let go of perfectionism and see the fruition of your work when you release the burdens of impossible standards and just allow yourself to be free. Letting go of perfectionism doesn’t happen overnight, but as you work on it more and more, you can see what comes from the moments you do let go and how they open this space for more energy and creativity to pour out of you and furthermore will lead you to find ease the next time you work on breaking free of perfectionism. The light on the other side of releasing the standards of perfectionism is a place where you can thrive and have boosts of inspiration. Most importantly you will be one step closer to having acceptance towards yourself and feeling that you are good enough.
One step towards accepting yourself just as you are is learning to let go of perfectionism and the high standards you place on yourself. We talked about the three mindsets to have in letting go of perfectionism, but letting go of perfection doesn’t mean you’ve completely accepted yourself. Letting go of the high expectations you place on yourself allows you to stop striving to be something you are not or working towards placing yourself into someone else’s mold that doesn’t fit you. Dropping expectations leaves room for freedom, freedom to be exactly who you are.
The biggest struggle is accepting that person once you get there.
Accepting yourself looks and feels different for everyone and there isn’t a specific one step answer, however, a place to start is knowing why being imperfect will lead you to a life of love, support, and acceptance.
Start with thinking about someone you admire, someone you wish you were or had his or her life. The irony in life is that the people who are considered the most perfect are the people who don’t try to be. Isn’t that what almost makes it worse, makes you more jealous? They are just naturally perfect, am I right?
Accepting your imperfections and flaws starts with understanding why they are what make you amazing and perfect in other people’s eyes.
Imperfections build connection; they are what make people real and relatable. Imperfections build character and allow people to have stories to share and be admired for. Imperfections create uniqueness, a way for others to stand out and shine in their own way. Imperfections help you pick out the right and wrong people whom to surround yourself with. Imperfections are what creativity, imagination and inspiration grow from.
& that’s just the beginning of a very long list.
On a day to day basis, imperfections can make you feel bad about yourself and become a huge struggle in your life. Everyone feels this way, what helps is to do your best to remember that yes you do have imperfections.
EVERYONE has imperfections.
& imperfections may feel bad to you right now in this moment, but it is with my imperfections that I can bond with friends, know when I found someone who truly loves me, know how my business can stand out in its industry, know what quirky things I have in common with my family, and finally know what it feels like to be here, now in the present, as a human being in this world.
Acceptance is knowing that some days you will get it right and some days you will get it wrong, but every day you do your best to remind yourself that you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be yourself because when you feel and be exactly who you are then happiness and love and connection will follow.
Being exactly who you are, undeniably yourself. That is authenticity.
Living a life of authenticity is doing your best to be who you are, but it is also doing your best to not let your surroundings poison your well.
Living your life as authentically as you can does not mean don’t let your surroundings change you because people do change, life changes you and you cannot control that. Your values can change; your dreams and hobbies can change. It is not about avoiding change.
It is about doing your best to listen to your intuition, follow your better judgment, don’t be pressured into going against your values whatever your values may be in the moment. It is about following your heart.
Allow yourself to follow what feels right and that will lead you to find who you are.
Being yourself will draw people to you because they will admire and fall in love with that energy and character you possess. Being yourself will make you feel good and will fill your heart up with happiness. When you are happy you radiate that energy and others will want to be a part of that.
A Mint Sweater girl strives to be authentic because you can’t be anyone but yourself. You can put on a costume or a mask and you can fake what you want, but your true self will always shine through, it will leave a trace.
A life of authenticity can guide you toward making the choices that will lead you to live a life that feels good in your heart.
Releasing yourself from perfectionism, learning to accept yourself, and finally learning to live a life of authenticity are what teaches you how to show up exactly the way you are.
Messy, complicated, and afraid.