When Perfectionism Blinds You

“Good enough” is a triggering word for me.

I never wanted to be seen as someone who didn’t know her worth. But the truth is, I didn’t. In my eyes the words “good enough” meant, “just barely.” And I wasn’t even just barely. 

Somewhere along the path of life, I realized my desire to be perfect stemmed from my desire to feel worthy. But worthiness doesn’t require perfection. Worthiness doesn’t require “better than.” Worthiness is knowing that despite my imperfections, I am still loved abundantly.

I’ve always struggled not to compare myself to others, and yet, being better at something or ahead of someone always made me feel better about myself. This life-competition that I played in my head was exhausting. It’s like running a continuous rat race. There’s always someone ahead of me.

Perfectionism is really just “Protectionism.” We wear it like armor. When I was recording my album, I so badly wanted to be perfect. I focused all of my energy on getting everything right. This striving for perfection in the studio not only held me back immensely, but I completely missed the point (and enjoyment) of what I was doing. The only thing that perfectionism protected me from was myself.

It’s hard to see clearly through the lens of perfectionism. When we focus so hard on e-v-e-r-y  l-i-t-t-l-e  d-e-t-a-i-l,  our vision becomes blurred. The narrow tunnel through which we look misses all of the beauty and potential surrounding us.

I’ve come to understand that reaching my potential–particularly as an artist–is directly proportionate to the amount of perfectionism I let go of. When I’m too fixated on being perfect in the studio, I not only miss what I’m doing well, but I also lose the opportunity to improve because my flaws are so magnified and distorted in my eyes. Although I’m still learning this lesson regularly, acceptance is the antidote.   

The miracle of acceptance is that when we embrace who and where we are in the present, not only do we become more of who we really are, but we exceed far beyond who we thought we could be. Perfectionism is like wearing a pair of glasses with the wrong prescription. But through the eyes of acceptance, we can see ourselves clearly–as well as others. Our imperfections no longer blind us.

I’m still learning to embrace my imperfections. I still battle the voice of “was that right?” when I sing up close to the mic. I’m still becoming aware of when I get lost in the blurry lens of perfectionism–when I’ve put the wrong glasses on.

But I will continue to show up–disarmed, imperfect.

Instead of striving for perfection, I will strive to generously accept that I don’t need to be more than I am.

I am good enough, not in a “just barely” way, but in a “just the way I am” way.

And so are you.