Permission To Be Imperfect
Allow perfectionism to be the imperfection in others and free yourself from the burden of pleasing others.
Perfection is the ideal in many cultures.
Being perfect helps us avoid mistakes, failures, delays, discomfort, and most of all — Pain.
So let me ask you this:
Have you felt the burden of perfection?
Perfection brings with it the burden of pleasing everyone — not disappointing others, not hurting others, and always showing up in your best self. This can also mean "not shining" when others are feeling down and out.
This "best self" becomes a mask — or rather a massive armor that you carry all around you at all times — not letting people see the real you. So let me ask you this:
Do you seek to embody your best self because that is what you want?
Or is it to make others proud, please them, and protect yourself from the shame and guilt of hurting and disappointing others?
If your drive to be your best self is fueled by pleasing others and protecting yourself, your destination is disappointment and failure accompanied by a boat-load of resentment.
But here's an alternative:
You can also want the same for yourself, not from shame and guilt, but from love for yourself.
When you come from love you realize that your best self is Perfectly Imperfect.
And when you love this self, you allow imperfection in others.
You let others who are "perfectionists" demanding perfection from you to have this imperfection of "perfectionism".
Allow someone's perfectionism to be their imperfection.
By allowing that, you release yourself from the responsibility of pleasing them.
You give yourself the permission to disappoint them, hurt them, and to burden them with your needs.
You allow yourself to ask for support even if you think / believe / know that doing so will add to their existing problems. You come to realize that:
When you show up vulnerably, it expands the others' capacity to hold you.
Parenting Your Child and Inner Child
Children can shut down when they feel the burden of perfection or if they feel they would add to the burdens of their parents.
Knowing this, your responsibility is to create space for your child to be able to share their feelings and ask for support no matter what.
I have seen this in myself and come across this countless times while working with clients that they shut down their "asking and receiving" to protect others.
Whether it is your children or your inner child, it is vital to create space for them to voice their feelings, ask for support, and receive it from you.
Beyond that, explicitly giving your children, your inner child, and your self the permission to be imperfect is liberating beyond imagination.
When it comes to being an adult who has taken on this burden, it is crucial to understand that you are co-creating the scenarios where you feel imprisoned or restrained by accepting the burden of perfection. If you feel resentful towards others, know it is you who creates this scenario and only you can reverse it by dropping the burden.
They are who they are, let them be.
Instead of feeling entitled to be given space for your imperfection or waiting around for others to give you permission, claim it.
You do this by giving your inner child the permission and creating space for it.
I personally believe every civilized human carries this burden to some degree until it is released — check-in with yourself to feel the burden of perfection and liberate yourself from it.
This is not just a mental exercise, it means practicing and showing up as this new self who doesn't permit the burden to weigh you down. You don't even allow it to touch you.
You allow yourself to disappoint others, hurt others, and burden them with your needs.
You allow yourself to share, express, ask, and receive support.
You allow yourself to Show Up In Your Full Glow and Glory.
This is perhaps the biggest price of the burden of perfection — hiding your “imperfections” diminishes you in showing up fully. Without realizing it you are also diminishing your light and your greatness.
Your full glow and glory shines through when you go beyond pleasing and protecting others and love yourself fully.
Share your own experiences in the comments below.
Leave a ❤️ if this helped you and share it with someone who needs to read this.
You can also read my related post from 2022 below: