Free to Be Me

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I wouldn’t call myself a perfectionist. I used to though. It really bothered me if everything wasn’t just right. I’d feel anxious if the house wasn’t clean, the girls’ toys weren’t put away,Β  or dirty dishes were left in the sink. I’d be hard on myself if I didn’t cook amazing meals every night or if I didn’t exercise enough that week.

I thought I had to be the perfect mom, wife, daughter, friend, cook, gardener, and housekeeper — all the time. It was exhausting. I wasted a lot of energy striving for unrealistic goals and self-imposed high expectations.

I’ve learned to let go. To be gentle and not criticize myself when things don’t go the way I planned. Give myself a break when I don’t accomplish what I set out to do that day. Let myself indulge on deliciously rich foods. Say no when my schedule is too hectic.

No one is perfect. It’s okay to make mistakes. In fact, it’s good to, that’s how we learn. It’s fine to admit we don’t have it all together. Because really, who does?

If we can forget about being flawless, we can be who we are instead of pretending to be perfect. What a freeing concept.

My sister recently told me, “Jen, don’t worry what other people think. You do YOU. You’ll be happier.”

Yes, I will. Imperfections and all.

Now that I don’t need to be perfect, I’m good.

Image courtesy of here

 

 

 

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55 thoughts on “Free to Be Me

  1. Oh, I so relate to this. I think I have worked my little ol’ self into some major anxiety attacks when I couldn’t make things work out the way they “should” be.

    This is a good reminder that I don’t have to.
    Love this! πŸ’œ

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Your sister was spot on. We worry so much about what others think and believing we have to live up to expectations but really in the end it’s only ourselves we have to be true to. Great post Jenny.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I know about OCD. I see why you said that, the need for things in order and perfection. I don’t have OCD tendencies, I used to just worry too much about what others thought. I’ve learned over the years I don’t have to do everything perfectly. I do the best I can… and that’s enough! That’s good advice, Bruce… take a deep breath and do what you can. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post! When I try to find something positive about living with chronic illness, this is it. We learn to slow down (we have to), and once we have slowed, I believe we begin to see and feel and honor the smallest things, and the biggest things that matter the most. The rest is just fluff. Thank you πŸ™‚

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  4. Enjoyed this, needed this reminder to not always feel I “have” to keep up with everything and be a certain way as a mom and wife. Thanks for the post! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much. I need to remind myself of this every once in awhile too. It’s easy to get caught up in doing what we think we “should.” High expectations are sometimes very hard to live up to! πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks so much for your insight and nice comment. You’re right about that, we need to have the freedom to fail. It’s how we learn, grow, and improve. And if we have a constant fear of imperfection, we’ll never try, and never grow.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: ο»ΏBoundless Challenge #6ο»Ώ – Confessions of a Reborn Girl

  6. Pingback: Boundless Challenge #6ο»Ώ – Confessions of a Reborn Girl

  7. Love this post! Striving for perfection is just nonsense! When you know better, you do better. We have to use our lives (I think) as an example to others that it’s normal to fail. We learn and grow as a result — often times coming out with an even better version of what we first envisioned. I failed at a few things today, and I’m good with that. Great post! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I love what you said… trying to be perfect is nonsense! And I agree, it’s good to show we fail, we’re not perfect, and I think it’s important to show our kids that. We make mistakes, learn, and move on. Thanks for your insightπŸ˜ŠπŸ’œ

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  8. I was a really good student in high school. Later in life I learned that not EVERYTHING needed to earn an A. Some chores are just pass/fail. Like CLEANING THE TERLET. School of Good Enough gives me a C and I’m outta there. πŸ™‚

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  9. I’m learning to say “no”, and I’m feeling really good about it (I said “no” to something this past week, and the recipients of my “no” were so understanding and supportive!). As my blog’s tagline says – sometimes our best has to be good enough!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love your tagline! Glad you had a good experience with saying no. That happened to me recently too, and the people I said no too were really understanding, and it wasn’t a big deal at all. I was stressing over saying no for nothing. Thanks for visiting here, I just popped over to your blog and followed. It’s great to connect with you! Jenny

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  10. Jenny, thank you so much for sharing the John Steinbeck quote! I LOVE it!!!! It matches my experience with my own perfectionistic struggles so accurately. When I was stuck in my perfectionism and anxiety, which both fed off each other, I was also trapped in rigidity and self-righteousness. It cut me off from the rest of humanity, and there is no way to be a good person when you’re stuck on an island of your own ego/self-concerns like that. I just try to be careful that the “you do you” approach doesn’t lead to moral relativism. I have to remind myself that it’s ok to not care what other people think about the clothes I’m wearing or how clean I keep my apartment, but at the same time, I try to hold in my head that I’m called “to be perfect as your heavenly father is perfect” AND I’m not ever going to get there on this side of the grave. Having this both/and in mind keeps me trying to live up to a standard of excellence, but it also keeps me humble and honest and helps me to forgive other people, because I recognize my own imperfections. This is definitely not something that comes easily to me, but the quote that you chose sums in up perfectly in my mind. I really think that recognizing how easy it is for me to mess up is what helps me to show kindness to others (and accept kindness, too). And really, isn’t that the most important thing?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I do think that’s the important thing. If someone really believes they’re perfect and never makes mistakes, then that person isn’t likely to show compassion and be understanding. People should not be held up to a high standard of perfection. Because it’s impossible. I’m so glad you like and relate to the quote. I loved it when I saw it! I read it a few times to fully grasp it… now that I don’t have to worry about being perfect, I’m fine. What a relief to fully realize this! I like your view of trying to live up to a high standard, yet knowing your own imperfections, and that it keeps you humble and able to forgive others. Great insight, Lulu, thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic. Your post was very well timed. Thank you for drawing me into deeper consideration about all of this! I think these things are important to reflect on if we want to lead a life that is centered on our values (like loving others) rather than just reacting to things as they happen. I think we should expect a lot from ourselves and each other, but the second we mess up, we should swoop in with forgiveness and compassion, because obviously it’s going to happen! That would be the ideal, anyway. I’m still working on getting there!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Me too! And that’s okay. It’s a journey, not going to happen overnight. The important thing is we’re aware of it, and working on it. Doesn’t mean we’ll get it right every time. You’re doing great!! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I really like you sister’s advice “You do YOU. You’ll be happier.” I have to really keep that in my mind when I start getting down on myself.

    I have never been a perfectionist about everything in my life, just things to do with performance in front of others. I’ve been working with my therapist a lot on tackling performance anxiety.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s hard, always worrying about what other people think. And thanks, I like my sister’s advice too. I need to remind myself of it, because it’s easy to get caught up doing what I think is expected or what I ‘should’ do.

      Liked by 1 person

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