I am a perfectionist as I have already told you in my book Back to Natural. I like to do everything well. I like to have everything super organized. I like to have things tidy. There are many people whose perfectionism manifests itself by wanting to please everybody, placing their own needs in second place. However, early in my life I came to understand that I had to respect myself first.
In practice being a perfectionist means, for example, that:
- I am too demanding with myself
- I struggle not to be always doing something
- I lose a lot of time with details (sometimes missing the whole picture)
However, trying to be perfect is simply frustrating because it is impossible!
Since I moved to the Azores, I started looking at myself in a different way. I had more time to think and to understand how perfectionism masks my insecurity(ies). Becoming aware of this was all by itself an important step. But in practice what could I do more?
In the first place I started to work on my self-confidence. It is an ongoing process, but I feel I came a long way. Furthermore, being bad now and then is liberating. Yes, you read it correctly. Being bad. In practice this means doing something I think I shouldn´t do or being irresponsible. For someone who is a perfectionist this can be a true challenge though with great results. But of course, I am not encouraging you to commit a crime or hurt someone!
If you are a perfectionist, here´s a challenge for you. List in a piece of paper three ways to practice being bad this week and implement them. For example:
- Spend a day without making your bed
- Say “no” to someone
- Turn off your mobile for a whole day
I would love to know how you are feeling in the end of the week!