i’m not perfect

I know that I’m not perfect. Really, I do. And yet I let my perfectionism – and not just perfectionism, but my belief that my work is directly tied to my worth – rule my life.

I’ll give you an example – and it’s not going to make sense to most people: I (wrongly-but-I’m-working-on-it) believe that my English paper is representative of my worth as a person. While it’s partly about the grade I will receive (which is always an A), it’s actually about how I felt about the paper. Did I do amazingly? Did I really knock it out of the park? Did I exceed my and my professor’s expectations? If yes, then I am worthy as a person.

This belief used to manifest to my advantage. In high school for example, I was motivated and happy and energetic. I would go do my work with such zest. But now, my belief that work = worth is a huge disadvantage – to my mental health, relationships, sleep. I am putting off assignments, emails, and most recently, these blog posts because I fear they will not be perfect. Of course I am correct in my fear, though. They will not be perfect.

Here’s what I’ve decided: They will not be perfect, but they can be insightful. They can be creative or informative. They can be heartfelt or risky. They can be uncomfortable (the lamictal rash, anyone?)! But most importantly, they can help someone similarly struggling.

As I have come to learn from Dr. David Burns’ depression-therapy bible Feeling Good, worth, achievement, success and fame are all different things. Achievement, success and fame are just achievement, success and fame. They aren’t worth. Worth is an entirely different entity.

So, if I allow myself to be imperfect with this blog – untimely and messy and honest and a little wrong at times – will you join me? Will you join me in being imperfect? Believing that your worth is a fixed unit, you cannot lose it? Will you strive for satisfaction or pleasure joy excitement risk learning or mastery instead? Will you allow others to do the same?

Signing off imperfect but empowered.

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