Personal Development

The Struggle of Perfection

Last night, I watched the second part of Lifeclass with Dr. Brene’ Brown , best-selling author of Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection.

I thought that I was no stranger to vulnerability by writing some of my innermost thoughts and private experiences in a blog and publishing it for the entire world to see.

I put myself in the arena, as Dr. Brown says, and I got my butt kicked in some way, but I recognized through most comments on and offline that I’m not alone. I’m not the only one who has these feelings or experiences. It has been such a blessing putting things out there and seeing what comes back, so here we go again…

When I saw Dr. Brown on OWN and she spoke about perfectionism, I’ll be real and tell you that she hit a raw nerve.

She defines perfectionism as a protective armor, which shields us from vulnerability. “Perfectionism is a way of thinking that if I look perfect, live perfect, and work perfect, I can avoid or minimize criticism, blame, and ridicule.” Well damn…

I’ll admit that I am a perfectionist. I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my writing. I have notebooks upon notebooks filled with notes, ideas, the beginnings of blog posts, entire articles, and what not that may never see the light of day, because I have not deemed them suitable for publication.

I edited, completely rewrote, and edited my many post so many times that I got sick of reading it. I truly hate to publish things with errors, misspellings, and inaccuracies. In the past, if I didn’t think that it was perfect, I wouldn’t post at all. That’s slowly starting to change now.

That might not be so bad, but when I think about other things in my life that I have not completed, have obsessed over to the point of being sick, or things that I’ve totally shut down for fear that it isn’t perfect and people will criticize it or me, I feel sad. I feel sad for the time that I’ve lost worrying so much about how I would be judged. Most importantly, I am sad for how hard I have been on myself. I recognize that I am judgmental, but I judge myself the harshest.

Read also: Why Millennial Moms Need to Let Go of Perfectionism

One of the things that struck me during the class was when Dr. Brown said that perfectionism “truncates the size of your life….It’s keeping us from being hurt, but really it keeps us from being seen.” Well damn, Part 2… How true this has been for so long. I am bursting with things I want to share, but because it isn’t perfect, I have stayed stuck.

Today is a new day. We’ve all been blessed with an opportunity make a new choice and do something different today.

Along with exposing this shame to the light in order to release it, I’m adding some new affirmations centered around perfection to my morning Mirror Work Morning Ritual.

  • I am perfect in my imperfections.
  • I am releasing harsh judgments of myself and of others.
  • I forgive myself for allowing my need for perfection to keep me stuck.

I encourage you to take the first step in exposing this to the light by clicking any of the affirmations that resonates with you the most. In the comments below, please share any other affirmations that you think can help us in moving past perfectionism.

Cost of Perfectionism

There are various degrees of this quest for good, good, even perfection, and the end result can contribute significantly to our tension and anxiety. These sensations of tension sap our vitality, heighten our anxieties and anxiety, and can cause a variety of panic attacks.

Perfectionism, on the other hand, isn’t only a negative feeling. High levels of perfectionism have been associated to a variety of unfavorable clinical consequences, ranging from eating disorders and fibromyalgia to depression and suicide, according to research.

Read also: How To Change Your Life For Better In 6 Simple Steps

This is the perfectionist’s perception of what is expected of him. It not only gives the perfectionist a thorough understanding of how success works, but it also pushes him to strive for perpetual perfection on all levels: to be the most professional, the most rigorous, the most visionary, the most creative, the nicest, and so on.

Perfectionism can cause substantial problems in daily life, affecting everything from our productivity and work performance to our relationships and physical health, even if it is not a psychiatric disease.

Lights, Camera, Action

Are you a perfectionist? How has perfectionism affected your life? What are some things that you are doing (or have done) to change this?

For those who did the Mirror Work Challenge, tell us how it worked out? Have you noticed any changes? Will you continue to do it?

Please leave your comment below. As always, your comment will help all of us who read it. I read them all and I know that others do to. Thank you!


I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

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Kara Bout It