For alot of women, we are our own worst critics. Extremely judgemental and critical of our normalcies, which we of course name ‘flaws’.
We also label them our ‘imperfections’ because we are not perfect. And perfection is the goal.
I noticed my whole life I had put this idea in my head that I had to have the perfect body, perfect skin, perfect diet, perfect relationship, perfect and the best at everything I did.
Not only did I realise VERY soon at a young age that this was not attainable, I started to punish myself for not being able to reach these goals through self harming behaviours.
As an adult now, I have thankfully been able to receive therapy to help conduce an eating disorder that once controlled my life, however I have found my mindset still being somewhat trapped in the same state that it was throughout my years – loathing myself for not being ‘perfect.’
I state my story briefly as now I am moving into a new stage of life, motherhood.
This new stage brings about a whole new element of uncertainty, anxiety and fear of the unknown – and fear of not being perfect.
Ladies raise your hand if you’re feeling anxious already imagining what your life will now unfold!
When I first fell pregnant, the initial thoughts that came to my head were;
“How will I be the perfect wife and mother at the same time if I am already not doing a perfect job?”
There is already so much self depreciation and fear in one sentence before anything had even manifested! How could one possibly set themselves up for success with a mindset like this!
I had been seeing a new therapist and she put it very bluntly to me, “No wonder you’re feeling pressure and under the pump and anxious about everything. You are trying to be ‘perfect’ at everything and set yourself to a standard that you cannot possibly reach.”
After miscarrying, it was only another burden that I had told myself that I couldn’t do well enough.
I finally started to listen to myself and how I spoke to myself. It WAS harsh!
Always the fact that ‘this wasn’t good enough’ and ‘that wasn’t perfect.’
It had to stop.
I decided to remove the word ‘perfect’ from my vocabulary.
It actually isn’t an easy task – much like weaning off coffee!
It’s a task that gradually must be corrected. If I am being harsh on myself about something as simple as a meal I cooked going wrong and getting upset saying ‘it’s not perfect’ I will mentally cancel or cross out the thought and replace it with ‘this is not the outcome I planned but I can manage.’
The more I practice to adjust my self talk, the more I am realising how un-necessary it is to have anxiety over a pressure you put upon yourself.
The pressure and anxiety to be ‘perfect’ will not change the end outcome. Much like the wasted energy of worrying, and even sometimes the negativity can be so powerful to actually manifest itself. There is no avoiding disappointment when you try to attain the unattainable.
This is only practice and a journey into self inquiry. Curiously, have the conversation with your girlfriends, mothers, sisters and ask them about the pressure that they put on themselves. It’s always interesting to think that the standards I hold myself to I would never expect a friend to reach and punish if they didn’t.
Try to treat yourself like you treat your best girlfriend. A wonderfully created being with unique skills that make you individually you – notice your self talk and if she puts you down, talk back to her and bring her back up!