I’ve been trying to define perfectionism–and this is what I came up with– “perfection is when we look outside ourselves for love, security and validation.” 

When we look outside ourselves for love, security, and validation, it’s because we think there’s something inherently flawed about us. And if there’s something flawed about us–how could we be lovable? 

That was me for early three decades. I needed to be the perfect girlfriend, have the perfect body, be the friend who has it all together, have the perfect job and be the perfect employee, be the perfect mom, blah blah blah. 

But with the pursuit of perfection, also came unbearable shame, guilt, fear and anxiety. It was crippling. Since perfection is unattainable, I would beat myself up for not achieving it. And I played this lose-lose game for most of my life. 

Now that I’ve settled into myself, I can honestly say that I’m learning to love myself (disclaimer–this did not happen overnight. I hired coaches and committed to my personal development). 

Perfection and self-love cannot coexist. The more we love ourselves, the less we need to be perfect and prove ourselves. Because we are enough, just as we are. We no longer need all that outside bullshit to be whole. 

Here’s what I’ve found by releasing my perfectionism: 

I can say “no” and be okay with it.

I can speak my truth and be vulnerable with my boyfriend.

I can disappoint someone and understand that I’m human and I make mistakes and I will try better next time.

I can know that my worth is more than a number on a scale.

I can celebrate other people’s success because I know it doesn’t diminish mine.

I can let people be themselves Bc I know they aren’t a reflection of me.

I can give people the love that I now give myself so freely. 

There are so many other ways my life has improved since I learned to release perfectionism and cultivate self-compassion. And I want the same for you. Because you deserve it. 

If you’re ready to commit to your personal development and release perfection, enrollment is open for my 6-week group coaching program, Embracing Imperfection. We get started on September 30, 2019. Send me an email at vitale@vitalebuford.com to see if it’s the right fit.

Read the rest of the posts in the perfection series: