Letting it all go – why perfectionism almost stole my joy.

You may have watched Brene Brown’s Ted talks or read her books.

If you are not familiar with her work, do a quick google search and I recommend you dive in.

She talks about how with vulnerability shame cannot exist. I am only just beginning to completely understand this.

Here is an example:

I hosted a Stretch and Chill class a little while ago. The idea of the class was for people to come and to get into a deep relaxed state, stretch their body and to let go.

When one of the participants arrived, she straight up told me she was really nervous, and I asked her why. She said she was concerned about getting up and down off the floor because she struggles with her legs in this way. Without a second thought I said to her: “That is perfectly understandable, you are not alone.” “I will pop a chair next to your mat in case you need it and I will put you right next to me.”

She opened up to me about her stressor and I instantly related and made her feel at ease.

She enjoyed the class and got a lot from it.

The shame was removed by her vulnerability in opening up to me.

While starting the class I announced to the participants that I am pretty “shit” when it comes to flexibility. Some people will be very flexible, and some will not. It does not matter which you are just go with it, do what you can and if anything feels unnatural or hurts to stop and lay or go into child’s pose.

One of the class participants told me later that with me announcing that I was not flexible, allowed the participants room to breathe and to not need to get the stretch perfect.

And there is that word that keeps coming up over and over, perfect.

That little perfectionism gene almost cost me my entire life of joy.

And I see/feel it in just about every woman I meet.

It scares me to think we worry so much about being seen to be perfect in all aspects of our lives we are actually robbing ourselves of joy, happiness, love and support.

For what?

Perfectionism showed up in my entire life and had the control panel for far too long.

It managed to weave its way into every fibre of my being.

Body image, disordered eating, fear, shyness, anxiety, emotional blockages, hiding my true self and shame.

I tell people now, proudly that I am a recovering perfectionist.

I don’t try and hide it because I want the same for others.

I want people to be free from perfectionism as much as possible.

Sure, it still rears its ugly head every now and again and I know the triggers when it does.

I know what to look for and what to do to help myself process, sit and deal with it.

I like to show vulnerability and authenticity and put myself in the ring as Brene would say and stand up and say, “it’s ok to not be perfect.”

It instantly puts people at ease or repels them, whichever.

That doesn’t matter.

Its ok if people don’t like or get you.

Its ok to get it wrong.

Its ok to feel fear.

All of it is ok.

Perfectionism does not exist, and you won’t find me trying to aim for it anymore.

If you want to ditch the perfectionism in your life and find your joy consider letting go a little. Let go of just one thing you like to try and make perfect. Maybe it’s the kitchen being sparkly clean or your hair being perfectly groomed. It could be many different things. Ask yourself why you need these things to be perfect. Ask yourself why you feel you need to control these things. Dig deep and then try just once to not do the perfect thing. Try to relax into it.

Where are you being vulnerable in your life? Leave me a comment and let me know

Rachelle is the Director of MEE Active and helps people step off the sidelines of life and into movement that matters. A certified Female Health and Performance coach as well as movement and rehabilitation specialist she enjoys teaching people about the connection between their mind and body. Connect www.meeactive.com.au


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