Perfectionism. For years I denied struggling with this mindset. I mean, yes… I was particular, enjoyed a well-organized pantry, and spent way too many hours looking at closet organization on Pinterest, but none of this made me a “perfectionist”.
I had this romantic idea of what a perfectionist looked like... and I did NOT fit that narrative. In my mind, a perfectionist would have it all together; like Grace to Frankie or Monica to Rachel. I felt that I had so many “imperfect” habits, that I couldn’t possibly struggle with perfectionism because I was SO IMPERFECT! I fought against procrastination, motivation, self-sabotage... and I definitely didn’t need everything to be perfect. Surely, a perfectionist would not do any of these things! Right?! Oof, well, apparently I was not right. Apparently, this is exactly the kind of things that a lot of perfectionists do (more on that later).
My Gateway to Healing Perfectionism
One of my first steps toward realizing my struggle with perfectionism came soon after I began binging Brene Brown's books (yes, we have a VERY similar name, no we have no relation.... sadly). I'd already plowed through Daring Greatly and Dare to Lead, so Audible recommended The Gifts of Imperfection to me as well. While I didn't consider myself a perfectionist, it had amazing reviews and other friends of mine were talking about how great it was, so I figured I'd give it a try (I mean, it was Brene after all...). I hit play and found myself on a journey that validated so many of my internal struggles and the shame associated with them. AND, I finally admitted that maybe I struggled with perfectionism after all.
Not only did this book make me aware of what perfectionism is, but it also helped me name my toxic habits and identify the source of my issues. Brene's book allowed me to take a step back and re-evaluate my relationships, my career, my health, my stress levels, and my life as a whole. Throughout the book, I realized how much perfectionism was showing up and interfering with my life. It permeated EVERYWHERE: procrastinating business development at work, people pleasing my boss (or, everyone