I have struggled with perfectionism for my entire life.
And as anyone with this obsession knows, it makes you feel like a failure most of the time.
And when it doesn’t, and you succeed at being ‘perfect’ or ‘having it all’ in a moment, day, or week, the high is so addicting that it tricks us into chasing that feeling every day, regardless of the carnage (mostly our own soul-crushing).
My spiral went something like this:
Perfectionism → Overdrive → Burnout → Self-loathing (and right back around)
Loads of fun, let me tell you.
But then I had a coach say to me:
“Mallory, you’re not perfect and you never will be. In fact, you suck some of the time and are awesome some of the time – 50/50.”
Honestly, at first, I was mad. I was thinking:
YOU DON’T KNOW ME.
YOU DON’T KNOW HOW GREAT I AM AND ALL OF THE THINGS THAT I DO THAT ARE RIGHT!!
I wanted her to think I was perfect, I NEEDED her to think I was perfect. I felt defensive, flustered, and agitated. How could I prove to her that I was WAY better than 50%?!?
But then she said:
“What if you let that truth be liberating? Because IF you already know that you suck 50% of the time, then every time you mess up, it’s ok, because you already knew that some of the time you were going to mess up.”
She reminded me that we are all filled with light and dark, good and bad.
Or, put a different way through my favorite quote from Vanilla Sky, “The sweet is never as sweet without the sour.”
With my coaching clients, I always talk about the way that thoughts create emotions which then inform our actions.
So I started to think about the way that this concept, of accepting that I suck 50% of the time, might impact my emotions and then ultimately my actions.
The result was magic.
Now, every day, I say to myself “You suck 50% of the time and are awesome 50% of the time, but you are loved and love yourself ALL of the time.”
I say this without criticism and without judgment, from a place of acceptance and truth.
When I mess up or don’t show up as my best self, I’m able to have way more compassion for myself. I say to myself, “Oh well, that was in the 50% suck category.”
And I move right along.
It doesn’t mean that I don’t try to change and grow, but I don’t do it from a place of judgment and self-loathing. I do it from a place of love, compassion, and acceptance.
That’s the only way to really change.
Can you try this? Can you release your need to be perfect by accepting that you suck 50% of the time and that’s ok?
You will never be perfect, and you don’t need to be. Perfect isn’t what makes someone deserving of love. The quest for perfection is a quest to fill a deep hole of scarcity, of not-enough-ness. But you are enough, even (or especially) when you let yourself suck 50% of the time.
Does this resonate with you? Share your thoughts!