Anxiety has been surfacing more for me lately and so I decided to have a talk with it. Turns out it’s telling me I’m not doing it “right,” and that there’s not enough time.
Hmmmm... perfection and lack- hello old friends; I know them well. They crop up every so often.
However, perfection doesn’t play out for me in typical ways. I’m pretty messy emotionally; I’m fine with anger, rage, sadness- the full spectrum. I can be real with what I feel. My home can be cluttered in areas; I don’t need it to be perfect. I have no problem showing up places without makeup and being comfortable - YET, if there’s an event where I know I’ll be photographed, my hair has to be just so. I judge myself mercilessly. Same with when I was acting and auditioning: there was a fine line as to when I felt acceptable and when I felt ugly. Yes- strong word because it’s true.
It also plays out in subtle ways of not doing enough or as if I need to acquire more and more information to do it “perfectly”- whatever that “it” may be. And because it can be subtle for me, I don’t always catch that that’s what’s going on.
I’ve recently started challenging these core beliefs, not that I haven’t worked on them thoroughly before, yet clearly there’s something going on during this time of intense astrological energies and Covid lockdown, as my friends and many of you, are finding deep, deep issues coming back up to finally be cleared out back to their core.
The thing about perfection is that it's such a static energy, it stalls you and completely blocks your creativity. If you’re trying to do it “perfectly,” you may never create at all. You certainly won’t take risks for fear of what will happen if you fall short. You may always feel small and not voice the truth of who you are. It is a huge hindrance to freedom.
For some of you, perfection plays out in being afraid of what others will think. The perfection becomes a terror of embarrassment or humiliation, therefore you need to look and act perfectly to be acceptable. You may even impose those high standards on your loved ones, expecting them to act and behave perfectly as well (this is called control).
Perfection is exhausting, it definitely drains you because you can’t be real. You may not feel safe if you appear less than perfect.
As for not enough, this is a sure-fire way to know your negative ego is involved as it loves to whisper that lie to you. If you always feel that you’re not enough or that there's not enough, again you’ll hide, you won’t pursue your dreams, you’ll defer to others, and if the lack is extra strong in regard to objects, you’ll become stingy because that lack mentality will make you want to hold on to everything (hording toilet paper anyone?).
For me, not enough time is how my negative ego likes to stress me out. So then I get anxious and don’t use the time I do have wisely. Vicious cycle, right? When I can catch it, it’s a totally different story. I use time wisely and definitely have extra of it.
How many of you have held yourselves back thinking you’re not enough to pursue this or attain that? I can pretty much guarantee that even hugely successful people have felt that way. The key is, they didn’t let it stop them. They moved forward despite that feeling.
Ask yourself how perfect you need to be, to be enough.*
These issues don’t play out constantly, they can be insidious and come up when you least expect them. Which is why awareness is key. The awareness to say, “Not this time!”
Sometimes easy, sometimes not.
This is when you need more tools for your spiritual tool belt.
As soon as you realize it, you can change it. Some things that help are:
Bottom line- take your power back from these faulty ideas of perfection and not being good enough. You in PRESENT time have the power. Not the past, not the future. You. Here. Now.
Which reminds me of a great and simple technique my dear friend Holly Higgins uses whenever she can tell she’s out of present time and stuck in an issue:
You ask yourself, “Where am I?”
And you answer, “Here.”
Then you ask yourself, “What time is it?”
And you answer, “Now.”
Seemingly simple but boy does it work.
I know I’m not the only one who’s had perfection and enoughness surface lately, so instead of fighting them and trying to ignore them, talk to them, give them voice, and then turn them over to your Higher Self to be healed and released. And if all else fails, then simply be with what is; that you’re feeling massive perfection and not good enough.
It’s time to show up powerfully and with your voice and your uniqueness. And if I didn’t write perfectly enough about perfection, that’s OK, I’m human ;)
* Nick Ortner posed this question in a guided tapping meditation.
Perfection? Oh please.
Real life is messy. Emotions are messy. Instagram isn’t always real. What?! Yes, I’m sorry to say.
Where’s the fun in perfection? Well it’s fun for your negative ego. Telling you everyone is judging you and making you scared to make a mistake. Telling you if it’s not perfect you won’t be valued, you won’t be enough, or that you’ll be humiliated. That’s a way to keep you stuck and in fear of moving forward.
Are there any projects or goals you have that you’re too paralyzed to start? Or maybe you’re too distracted. Check the perfection idea. That kills plans before they start. It also blocks creativity.
Where did the idea come from? Can you challenge it? Can you allow messy? And real?
It might be scary at first, “Omg what if they laugh? What if they don’t like me?” What if they don’t? Is that true or is it your misperception? And what’s more, if they don’t, good riddance. You’ll find your tribe that values you, for you: messy and real.
It takes so much effort to be perfect, is it worth it?
Now let me be clear, I’m not saying turn in shoddy work or be lazy on the job- no, no, no. Nor am I saying don’t try your best to do a great job. I’m saying- perfection as in static energy. As in being rigid in your views, emotions, and the way you show yourself to others for fear of showing a flaw.
I’m saying needing those around you to act a certain way because they “reflect on you.” No they don’t, they reflect on them. Your ego would like you to add control to the perfection mix so that everything appears just so, but hello, that’s not life. Anytime you see someone who seems perfect and has it all together, remember, looks are deceiving. You have no clue what’s going on beneath the surface. They show what they want to be seen, not necessarily the truth. Before feeling badly about yourself, question your perception and why you’re allowing others to dictate your emotional wellbeing.
Go back to your own self-worth and self-love and stop feeding into your negative ego’s desire to compare you to others.
You need to live for yourself, not for what others might think of you. No one is watching you closely, seeing where your flaws are; people are too busy looking at themselves. So are you living for them, or for you? Because it’ll get exhausting living for others, not to mention killing your self-worth and self-esteem.
We are here to have fun. We are here to be messy and make mistakes and learn and grow. We’re here to love and laugh.
If you really want to push the bounds, be silly. Skip. Be joyful.
It’s your life. Let me repeat, it’s your life! No one else’s. Acknowledge your views of perfection and if willing, let them go, as much as you can.
It doesn’t mean you’ll be a disheveled mess, it means if you’re tired, you’ll give yourself down time. If you’re overwhelmed, you’ll say no instead of sacrificing yourself. You won’t smile when you feel like crying. You won’t push when you need to retreat. You’ll honor yourself and your needs and your truth, kindly, and with compassion.
There is freedom in the messy, there is beauty in the flaws. Do you have the courage to discover that? I think you do.
Me, just sharing ways to make you the best you can be!