Hello, my name is Riah and I am a perfectionist. It’s true. For my whole life I have been trying to control everything. I want my environment to be perfect, what I create to be perfect, and the work I produce to be perfect. In other words, I want to be perfect.
The big joke? I’m not perfect! Far from it actually. I’m incredibly flawed and yet incredibly amazing. Thanks to the wisdom of many mentors, the vast amount of information available on the internet, and to myself for my ability to grow, I quickly realized that the more I am able to accept myself as being imperfect, and yet enough, the more I feel at peace with myself, other people, and the world.
To be clear, I am ambitious and I have big dreams. I’m not saying that all of a sudden I started doing crappy work and not finishing things and not caring. Quite the opposite. The truth is that when I stepped out from underneath this shadow, I began creating more, producing more, and achieving more on a more consistent basis with more joy and acceptance for who I am.
What did if for me, what turned the lights on? Well, it was a line from a Brene Brown book (of course). It went something like this: “A perfectionist has never published a book”. I remember the moment so clearly! I was standing in my kitchen (which is actually a bar), doing the dishes, listening to Brene, and I was like, oh shit. That’s me. I am so dang worried about my book being perfect that I am never doing to finish it!
Because I love personal growth more than anything and because I so desperately needed help, I charged into those dark and difficult places inside of myself. I chased down my vulnerability and without knowing that I would, I found authenticity. I know, that’s super cheesy, sorry. But it’s also super true.
Along the way, I discovered that perfectionism is the enemy of great, of good, of good enough, and of finished. I love this so much because it resonates with me. There are so many things I haven’t finished or have been afraid to start and haven’t liked because they weren’t perfect. I’m working now to embrace my own imperfection, every single day. And I’ll be honest, I’m just going to say it, in the past few months my life has opened up and bloomed, to use a very overdone metaphor. I’m creating more, experiencing more, and feeling more, life is richer and not just with things that are perfect, but with all of the things. And that’s the way it should be.
For whatever reasons, there is a stronger tendency for women to strive for perfectionism than for men. I don’t know if this is genetic or cultural but I do know that it’s keeping a lot of us from reaching our highest potential and therefore from being happy. So, cut it out ladies. Just cut it out. Let go of the lie that we need to be perfect in order to be enough and embrace the messy, beautiful creatures we are and the messy, beautiful things we are creating ❤