As a brand, I am understanding more and more that we are here to serve women who struggle with perfection and control.
Today, I am sharing a yet unedited piece I just added to my book, Full of Herself, about perfection. I think it's timely to our conversation here and you'll enjoy a new perspective on this word.
You're the first to read it!
Perfectionism is a form of armor I safely tuck myself into when I'm trying to outrun vulnerability. When I feel scared and unsure I revert back to what I know: pleasing, performing, perfecting and proving. Perfectionism isn't about crossing all of my i's and dotting all of my t's. It's about trying to please you first and myself second.
I am part of conversations like these often. Do they sound familiar to you too?
Me: You seem like you're such a patient parent. Is that true?
Other Person: I'm not perfect but I try.
Me: Congratulations. You killed that presentation.
Other Person: I know. I killed it. I mean it wasn't perfect but I was pretty great.
Other Person: You killed that Pump Up Session.
Me (sometimes): I was a little slow out of the gate, I thought I could have asked a better question when I had that interaction with that lady, and I don't know how I feel.
I also hear and read phrases like these often too:
Even though I'm not perfect I tried my best.
How to get the perfect smile.
I'm not perfect. I fall short all the time.
How to get the perfect selfie.
Here's what gets me about the word perfect. We're misusing it. Think about this. As women we're in the midst of trying to redefine impossible standards that have been imposed upon us. Think beauty, working mum, pay, shape and size, and if you're a woman of color the standards are more impossible still. The only place that perfection -- defined as "nothing wrong" -- lives, is in our heads, yet we're constantly talking about it as if it exists in reality. Why can't a woman's smile be crooked and perfect? Why can't I be slow out of the gate and kill the pump up session? It's absurd how lacking we think we are unless everything is just so.
Let me introduce you to a new definition of perfection that can help you have it all. My breathwork coach, Juliana Ericson, recently shared it with me and it's exactly what I hadn't been able to articulate until I heard it. Juliana said, "Perfection is living into my life-activating force." Yes, I thought. That's it. Being perfect isn't about being flawless. Being perfect is about becoming as much of myself as I possibly can and sharing her with the world. To be perfect I must learn how to tap into what makes me feel alive and grateful and content, as often as possible. In doing so I share the best of me with the world and so many people see an example of who and what they can be. That sounds perfectly perfect to me.