Love Letter to YOU from a Recovering Perfectionist!

childMH900441032 cropped facing leftDear fellow perfectionist,

I see you. And it breaks my heart to see your inner critic at work – telling you you’re not good enough. Can’t you see how you’re being manipulated – that the need to be perfect comes from a fear of being imperfect? You’re so busy trying to ‘prove’ your inner critic wrong that you haven’t stopped to notice the impact on you and your life!

Have you noticed that as soon as you’ve achieved the perfection (or near perfection) you seek, your gremlin just gets back to abusing you again – bullying you straight onto the next task – which of course has to be perfect! Perfection is a never-ending cycle of not being enough. Ever.

It’s your many imperfections that make you lovable! Without flaws – how CAN we love you? We can ADMIRE perfection, but it’s IMPOSSIBLE to love! Perfection doesn’t exist – it’s like an airbrushed, digitally perfected photo of a model – it LOOKS good, but it’s not REAL.

So, let me tell you right now that you’re good enough just AS YOU ARE. Right now. Right this second. Stop, take a deep breath and see the truth. No more is required of you. You just need to be YOU – the flawed yet fabulous, amazing, unique, wonderful YOU.

“Behold thyself in glory. Love thyself as I love you. In this way you honour me. It is my duty to love myself deeply, totally, unconditionally. To see myself as something of great worth. To do less is to deny the task for which I was born. What of my faults and inadequacies? I resolve to love them as part of who I am. I am beautiful because of them. They are part of my uniqueness, like markings on a wild animal. They give me flavour. Make me real. I allow myself and others to make mistakes, miss opportunities, and make foolish decisions. I recognise and accept my vulnerability and fragility. My quirks and idiosyncrasies – all part of who I am. I am beautiful and special because of my humanness – in fact, this is where my true beauty lies. As the day accepts the sun and the night accepts the moon, so I accept myself. And so I become complete & whole”
John Kehoe

Your gremlin says, “Come ON!”, “What a load of garbage!”, “If you make mistakes, if you’re not 100% they’ll laugh at you, dismiss you, think you’re stupid, a failure, a fraud, worthless, unlovable, ugly, lazy, selfish, boring”, “You’re such a waste of space, why even bother?”

What is your gremlin trying to prove exactly? NO-ONE is perfect – how could YOU be any different? Why do you expect more of yourself than anyone else? Role models, spiritual leaders, enlightened beings all make mistakes. The difference is of course that they forgive themselves – they know that imperfection is a part of being human.

So, instead of listening to your inner critic (you’ll know because it makes you feel bad about yourself and constantly drives you to be perfect), why not begin to cultivate the kind, compassionate voice inside of you? This is a voice that is only EVER supportive and encouraging. When you make a mistake it doesn’t beat you up, it asks, “So what did you learn? What will you do differently next time?” It says, “Back off bully!” to your critic. It stands up for you, protects you and takes care of you. And this kind, compassionate voice is always there. It can become part of your daily life if you look for and practice listening to it.

Of course it’s not easy. It’s just like leaving a destructive relationship – it’s EASIER to stick with what you know. It takes time to reprogram ourselves. So, I ask you to gather your strength. Begin to pay MORE attention to your KIND, NURTURING VOICE. You already have all the courage you need to allow THIS voice to guide you through your life, your actions, your triumphs and mistakes.

Wondering how you do this? Well, just for a moment take a look at this little girl. Tell me what you would say to her when she makes a mistake, fails or just doesn’t deliver what she thinks is expected of her. Which voice would you use? What would you say?

And give that advice to yourself!

 

So, in future, when your Perfection Gremlin takes over:

  • Remember, if you feel an urge, feel bad or COMPELLED, it’s a sign that your perfection gremlin is at work.
  • Once you notice this, take a few deep breaths.
  • Then look inside and ask your kind, supporting voice for help.
  • Your kind, compassionate voice will support, encourage and soothe you. It’s ALWAYS there just waiting to be uncovered…

How to know you have found your kind, compassionate voice?

  • It TRUSTS you and GUIDES, but does not drive or push you.
  • It SOOTHES you.
  • It FORGIVES you when you make mistakes.
  • It helps YOU find the learning you need to improve and grow – WITHOUT JUDGEMENT.
  • It ALLOWS whatever you are feeling and will NEVER shut you down.
  • You just need to ASK and LOOK FOR THIS VOICE – and it will be there.

How do I know this? Because I am a recovering perfectionist!

Love always,

Emma-Louise xxx

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