Are you making yourself smaller and your life dimmer because your expectations of yourself are so freaking high that joy, ease, and rest simply don't have space?
Are you waiting for that golden moment when you can finally exhale because things are glossy enough and nobody can criticize you?
That, my dear, is what perfectionism is at its core: a deep deep fear of criticism and rejection.
And so, in an effort to not be criticized or rejected, you are criticizing and rejecting yourself first. You are preventing yourself actively from feeling joy, feeling happiness, feeling connected with yourself and the world around you because you are scared that if you show yourself just the way you are, you will not find love, admiration, appreciation, and kinship.
In addition, you are probably finding yourself in situations where you are not authentic and maybe even a little bit fake, because being (or appearing) perfect takes a lot of acting. As a result, you are probably exhausted and a bit lonely.
I am not telling you this to make you feel bad or to rub it in, but I want you to know that I understand. I've been there myself and I have worked with 100s of women who are struggling with this precise issue. I know the guilt you feel is real, too, and I know that it's possible to leave perfectionism behind and start living a kinder, more joyful life (click here if you'd like some support).
You must realize, love, that you are living in an illusion because perfectionism and keeping yourself on a short leash will never EVER lead to abundance, freedom and boundless joy.
Anne Lamott said it perfectly:
In addition, you are also dramatically jeopardizing your hormonal health, because nothing is more stressful to your body and your hormones than the constant expectation to be perfect and flawless.
This expectations makes deep rest pretty much impossible, because you are always on alert, thinking about the next thing, maintaining control over as many things as possible.
Your adrenals are on overdrive constantly and that affects not only how you feel, but it negatively impacts your fertility and your female hormones (often leading to irregular, painful, or absent periods, PMS, difficulty sleeping ...).
Today, I want to tell you that you deserve to be imperfect, flawed, messy and beautiful just the way you are.
You don't always have to have it together.
You are allowed to rely on your friends and family to help you and lift you up.
You deserve to live without the constant guilt that you should have or could have done something even better.
You are allowed to relax and let some things slide sometimes.
You are allowed to tell other people "no."
I give you permission to take a break, step off your perfectionism stool and just like yourself for being you.
Don't forget, love, that your relationship with yourself is the one you have for your whole life and so you better start creating a beautiful, nourishing and kind relationship with yourself.
This is also the basis for all other relationships in your life, including the one with your (future) children. If you are expecting perfectionism of yourself, what kind of pressure do you think you will unconsciously put on your spouse and your kids? Is that really fair?
Only if you can accept and love yourself the way you are, can others do that as well. It's up to you.