Fear & loathing ain’t in Las Vegas
As I look around these days, I am becoming ever more concerned of the needs of women to be perfect at anything and everything. As I write this, I am duly noticing the need I have to re-write my words because they're not perfect, or the need to explore the racing ideas inside my head on what to write next - is it really my creativity? or, is it the sneaky way in which I distract myself from posting this or worse still, finishing it.
You see, these days we all seem to be jacking-up on the myth of perfection believing we are doing what’s best for us, holding back until we know for sure what the road ahead looks like. This rabbit hole of procrastination is a place I know all too well and it can be a place of deep sadness and despair for the women I work with. I’d be lying if I said I don't visit this place anymore. After all no-one’s perfect, nor should we try to be!
We are fixated on perfection and in so doing, we murder our progression. MURDER, yes that’s right ladies, own the murderer inside of you because that is what we are all doing when we don't fully embrace our imperfections and failures.
At one point in time, trying to be a perfect woman showed up by trying to be more beautiful, more quiet, more smiley, or, by giving more control to the men in our lives and yet, this is pure childsplay compared to the great sneaky lengths we now got to in avoidance of our imperfections.
Some examples from my own world have been:
Not leaving the office until late because Miss Perfect surely recognises and proves her worth by staying longer.
Not doing that facebook live because I am not ready; Miss Perfect wouldn’t slip up on her words, she wouldn’t have notes plastered around her screen, and she’d definitely wouldn’t have an office that looks less than one straight out of a lifestyle magazine
Not asking for referrals or testimonials because Miss Perfect would not need to ask for help, she’d have people begging to give her their insights.
Not voicing my needs to be supported emotionally and physically by friends, family or colleagues because Miss Perfect doesn’t need any help, she’s fully resourced up body, mind & spirit. There’s no breaking this warrior.
Now it’s fair to say as a coach, I believe strongly in the importance of striving to improve, however, there’s no denying, we know deep down when we are fooling ourselves - demanding too much, pushing too hard & seeing too little in terms of real-life progression. We feel the stress, lethargy, anxiousness, defensiveness and overwhelm, and we know these are all rooted in shame, guilt and fear which ultimately lead to loathing ourselves.
Being a woman today demands so much more than stereotypes of old. I must now be the ultimate superwoman and the margins I set myself for failure to achieve, have become less and less. Equally, I have no one to blame for this anymore. I am not confined to the house, reliant on someone else’s money, controlled or suppressed. Labelling it as "pressure from society" is just yet another disctaction/excuse from stepping into my power as a woman, a power, which is my responsibility to unravel, own and be.
Perfection is undoubtedly our foe and yet, I have come to believe it is also our crucible, the place from which to forge a new relationship with ourselves and others. You see, when we hamper our progression through procrastination, our mind registers this state similar to a fear of death. Human beings are hardwired to fear death, we cannot be with procrastination in the same way we cannot be with death. Yet a life lived to the fullest and full of vitality is a life where we fully invite in a less rigid sense of self and embrace the idea of death each and every day. Afterall, something has to die in order for us to be re-birthed.
I promise to stop my heart giving rhythm to the need to research everything before I act.
I promise to bury the cruel way in which I speak to myself (out loud or in my head).
I promise to no longer breathe life into delaying doing just so I can say “I work better under pressure”.
I promise to spend my last days, be they few or many exploring how love can rise out of loathing and be the perfectly imperfect me.
I promise to let go of the need to add more value to this blog, to correct any errors. I have said what i need to say, you'll get my drift and those that are curious for more discussion or tools will reach out.
I will no doubt get the above wrong from time to time. I am after all, no master at self-compassion and acceptance (yet, she says). It’s a journey of practice, of building the muscles which we never knew we had. It’s a journey of inner discovery with no end. With one life ahead of me, I know one thing for certain, habitual procrastinators have higher rates of depression, anxiety and poorer well-being, so if it’s a toss-up between dying empty because I’ve given all I’ve got and dying full because I did not step fully into life, I know which one I want, do you??
Over to you:
What has stirred in you reading this piece?
What are the ways in which you hamper your progression in trying to be perfect?
How will you challenge yourself today to be imperfect?
How will you celebrate and reward your imperfections?
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