I get up at 5 a.m most mornings, attend a one-hour bootcamp class, get my kids ready for school and journal for 45 minutes—all in the first sixth of my day.
I don’t step out of the house unless I’m “put together;” I attend church every Sunday (with husband and kids who are also well put-together) and I run my own business.
Yup. I’m perfect.
More like perfectionistic.
Yes, I do all of these things. They are all me and my “get things done” personality. Perhaps from the outside it may look like I’m living the perfect life (although some may say 5 a.m. awakenings equal madness) but from the inside it all looks like a hot mess.
Truth is, I’m a recovering “not good enough”-ist.
I used to beat myself up daily. Figuratively that is. “Not good enough” was my inner mantra, like I was cracking my own whip. Not a good enough mother, wife, writer, friend. Just not good enough.
On bad days it’s still my mantra.
But over the years I’ve realized the damage that kind of thinking does. And I’ve come to believe what Jess said in her post last week: “When you realize you are good enough, just as you are, it changes everything.”
I’m just as broken as the next person, and certainly a long way from society’s unrealistic version of perfection.
And I’m so good with that.
Leaving comparison behind
Do you sometimes look at the lives of others and compare yourself? Wish you could do what they do? Look like they do? Have what they have? They’re just so annoyingly perfect…
A symptom of my “not good enough” syndrome was looking for the imperfections in my “perfect” peers all the time—comparing their lives to my own. I think it’s hard not to nowadays; other people’s lives are so accessible—think reality TV, glossy magazines, and social media.
It helps you know. When you feel like you aren’t good enough yourself, it makes you feel a whole lot better if you can find reasons why other people aren’t good enough also.
But the irony of that “reality” is it is anything but real. And looking for other people’s imperfections only helps for a short while. When we look for reasons why others aren’t good enough, in the end it only makes us feel critical and unkind.