I've always been a perfectionist.
As a teenager, I spent countless hours perfectly quaffing my hair before school each morning (on weekends, too). I had killer bangs that required some major attention. Come on, when you've got a hair style this fly...you can't risk being seen without it looking 100% on point."
I recall one traumatic afternoon when my brother-in-law, (who tormented me relentlessly about said hairstyle) decided that it would be hilarious to give me a noogie to help me "chill out" about my hair.
His plan backfired mightily as I screamed and sprinted inside to hide out in the bathroom and figure out how I could salvage the hair sprayed rat's nest that now sat atop my head.
I remember feeling so totally humiliated, for not only having this hair-tastrophe on my hands, but for feeling like without my hair looking just so...I wasn't worthy of being seen.
Living like this made me feel like the only way I could show up and feel good enough for my own life was if I looked and acted a particularly perfect way.
And I'm willing to bet, too many of us have spent far too many days living within the confines of this rigidly constructed existence.
The good news, though, is that I grew out the bangs, ditched the Aqua Net and have found the way to commit to a lifelong pursuit of being totally OK with being me.
It certainly hasn't come easy and it's an on-going process because the sheer notion of ditching the perfectionist persona flies right in the face of survival for said the aforementioned perfectionist, herself.
But the truth is, perfectionism is in total cahoots with our inner overachiever. Now this can be a really great thing at times, but it's also often found in solidarity with judgement and criticism.
It is most certainly NOT found in partnership with true love.
Perfectionism equals performing in order to receive external validation.
Perfectionism is showing up with judgment, projection and healthy dose of fear giving the directions.
"Perfection is just fear in fancy shoes" (Elizabeth Gilbert), after all.
It's the pretty curtain we get to hide behind in order to avoid feeling uncomfortable and totally exposed in our raw truth.
And perfectionism is what's killing your dreams.
It's keeping you in the past (hello high school jeans) and it's projecting you toward a future that has to look and feel just so in order to be good enough for you to accept it.
And when it's not...
We perpetuate the cyclone of perfection and dream killing.
Because nothing REAL can happen in there.
True love, connection and inspiration cannot exist when they are being measured and critiqued down to dust.
And without love and connection and inspiration, we will never, ever feel truly free.
There will always be conditions.
There will always be limits that stop us before we get to really scratch the surface of our dreams.
I say we ditch perfection and celebrate progress.