Being a perfectionist

I have been a perfectionist all my life. At different ages and stages of life I tried to be the perfect student, daughter, girlfriend, friend, and employee. By trying to be perfect, I denied the expression of my full self, imperfections included.

The road to a perfect version of yourself is endless; it’s infinite, and, well, not even real. You can’t get somewhere that is not real.

This road is hard, it’s draining, it’s full of tears and disappointment; but let’s be honest — it is also the easiest road. It is easier to try to imitate the expected social standards than to search for your own meaning and sense of self.

I did not realize though that perfectionism was an attempt to avoid figuring out who I really am beyond what society expects of me.

The pursuit of perfection has become the addiction of our time. How many people are totally happy with themselves? With their body, their career or their relationships? I guess there are not that many. There is always room to get better; to become fitter and stronger, to read more, to travel, to become more open-minded and compassionate.

I’m not even close to those ideals nor I am anywhere near them.

We need to learn how to accept and love the current version of yourselves. It’s not about ‘I’m ok with my extra weight and I don’t care’. The key is to accept and love yourself as who you are now, and then be willing to grow and enjoy the process of becoming a better version of yourself. Gradually, step by step, keeping the balance.

The next step would be to explore who you really are, and who you aspire to be. Avoid following artificial ideals or expectations and focus on your inner sense of self.

I know what I need better than anyone. I learn to love my imperfect self, and I’m excited to work towards my better self. It’s a long way that requires constant work, but I enjoy it and embrace it.

Achieving this is not possible without support and love from other people.

“I do not want to change anything in you. I love you the way you are.”

Perfectionism at heart is the desire for love and acceptance.

It’s what every person in this world hungers for: to be understood, to be accepted and loved. This fundamental understanding, the basic need of being loved is so powerful.

For some reason, we are afraid of being vulnerable and showing each other how fragile and imperfect we are.

But when we do open, it suddenly seems as natural, and as vital as breathing. It’s surprising, it’s beautiful, and it’s magical. And well, it is rare too.

We chose to be closed, and show up the shiny part of our personality; we are obsessed with showing each other the best of our lives. Perhaps, it is the challenge of our generation, to figure out how to live privately and authentically, ignoring the pressures of perfection and standards.

Vulnerability is the only real currency of our relationships. The most satisfying relationships we have are with people who share their entire lives with us — both the beautiful and the ugly.

Life is a path, and there should always be a room for mistakes and imperfections. But the desire for growth, love and acceptance should be it’s guiding light.




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Aleksandra Smelianska

Aleksandra Smelianska

We are the stories we tell to ourselves.

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