Letting Go of Perfectionism

Perfectionism is the highest form of self-abuse.  Anne Wilson Schaef

The holidays are filled with unrealistic expectations of perfection.  We want to cook the perfect meal, buy the perfect gift, decorate our homes perfectly.  With all this pressure to have the perfect holiday, the season’s meaning disappears as we frantically try to meet everyones needs.

Below is an excerpt from my memoir Listening to My Life sharing my struggle with perfectionism.

Allowing myself to not be perfect has been a hard lesson for me to learn.  Doing it right the first time was so ingrained in me.  Mistakes are still sometimes abhorrent to me.  My head knows that making mistakes is the way we learn, my heart fears being wrong.  The message of If you can’t do it right the first time, don’t do it, is like a post-it stuck to my soul.

I have two mantras that help me through my mistakes.  I remind myself that I am human and humans are not perfect.  I heard somewhere that when you accept your humanity, you experience your divinity.  This comforts me and allows me to let go of the need to be perfect.  The second mantra that gives me strength in the face of mistakes is “This too shall pass.” All things do pass. My responsibility is to recognize my mistake and take action to rectify it if possible. It is not necessary to hit myself over the head. I have become much more gentle toward my own humanity, giving myself what I’ve given others all these years.

As the holiday season begins please practice extreme self-kindness.  Holidays are about connecting with loved ones and celebrating the joy of each other. It is hard to “let go” and enjoy if everything has to be perfect.

May you have a delightful imperfect holiday with loved ones.

Visit my website at http://www.listeningtomylife.blog

4 thoughts on “Letting Go of Perfectionism

  1. Self- kindness is the key, totally agree! I’m one of those who seek perfection and it’s stressful! Thanks for sharing this wonderful article with us!


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