I used to believe in perfect. In perfect dates, blog posts, relationships, days and even lives. And more than just believe, I used to strive for perfect. Perfect was a way I used to measure my productivity, my worth, my self-esteem. The truth I let myself believe was that if I said exactly the right thing (or refrained from saying the exact wrong thing), behaved in a certain way, or if I produced the most extraordinary results at work, that I would be, or at least give the illusion of being, perfect. Anything less than that was simply not enough.
I was in a constant state of disappointment not only from letting myself down but by being let down by others because of my high, unrealistic expectations. I was drowning in scarcity. I was, in short, freaking miserable.
With a mix of time (years and years), wise words from wise women, diving way-deep into curiosity and self-development, and a lovingly cultivated practice of self-awareness, I’ve come to the realization that perfect is an illusion. It’s not real and it prevents me from being real. Oh, how I yearn to be real down to the bone. I mean, can I see a show of hands of who wants to be real AF? Oh, everyone? I can just hear all the “me toos”.
I also uncovered that my desire for perfection was rooted in my fears, insecurities, and doubts I held, and still hold, about myself. It was all about covering up the cracks where my imperfections were showing. I tried so, so hard to transform imperfections into perfections rather than getting curious and asking the oh-so-necessary whys, or doing the work of flipping the script to take back my personal power.
Although being real quite frankly scares the yoga pants right off my bottom, it excites me even more. Just saying the word out loud ignites a spark throughout my entire being and it feels, just about tastes, like freedom.
And let’s be honest, real people are simply the best. I’m drawn to them like a magnet. They’re those humans from whom I borrow endless amounts of inspiration—the people who are so unabashed and uninhibited in being wholly, completely themselves that others around them can’t help but to try and do the same. Realness is seriously contagious, you guys.
Abandoning perfection is not like flipping a switch. At least for me, it isn’t. It’s more of a practice—something that I must hold myself accountable for and work for every moment of every day. Because it’s a practice, that means there are times when I fail. In all honesty, I fail often. But rather than letting my inner-critic (more like inner-asshole) take the wheel and shame me into a corner of fear and insecurity, I lean in. I listen. I take notes. Once I’ve learned what I need to I pull on my courage pants, take a big, juicy breath, and I allow myself the space to move forward, imperfectly.
I am imperfect. You are imperfect. We are all imperfect. And that’s what makes us so damn beautiful and human. Let’s all say it together, you guys: F*ck perfect.
- Jenna Dailey