The first seven days of this series have explored three of the motivations that push me to pursue perfectionism. On some level, all of these motives result in conscious choices, and at the same time are woven into my subliminal thoughts. Somehow or another they have wound themselves around central pillars of my personality, like noxious weeds threatening to choke out the essence of me.
The need for control.
The desire to have the approval of others to find value.
Editing and silencing myself out of fear and shame.
This mindset produces a competitive nature in me that is always comparing myself to others, always questioning my worth, and never really knowing where the real me begins.
This fundamental uncertainty in who I am, fuels my anger. I’m mad because I’ve invested so much of myself into thinking that perfectionism can save me. In reality, I am discovering that is a complete and utter lie.
I am fed up. I am trying to untie myself, to pluck out the weeds that starve the real me, but as I do, I realize they go much deeper than I thought. This process of dismantling perfectionism is a fundamental challenge to the way I have seen myself for decades. It is scary to consider letting something go that has defined me for so long. I wonder what will be left, and if I will like myself in the end?
In the meantime, here are a few things on which I can hang my hat.