SoberMe

My Not So Secret Diary

On Being a Perfectionist

On Being A Perfectionist at the beach in Cornwall. Writing for my blog, My Not So Secret Diary by Claire Hatwell about addiction, recovery and family.
For most of my life I’ve felt a bit lacking when I compare myself to other people. I know I shouldn’t do it, but it’s easy to pick fault, especially with ourselves. I’ve always done it, but nowadays, I am at least aware of it. I notice myself judging myself and I try to let it go.

It’s easy to make assumptions, and to believe other people are more confident than we are, but we’re all the same underneath, under our armour and our hard exteriors, under the shields we put up to protect ourselves. I don’t think even the toughest people are that tough underneath, although sometimes they need to project the image that they are.

Recently I did an assessment for some online training and it made me realise what a perfectionist I am. We had to grade the qualities with the value we held them in and my list was surprisingly long. Much longer than I thought it would be. Seeing it on paper like that made me realise what a lot of pressure I put on myself.

It got me thinking about my insecurities and I decided to try to change them around…

  • I might be anxious a lot of the time, but it shows I care far more than I should about a lot of things.
  • I might not be the thinnest, but my husband loves me, and my body is strong now. It also gave us our four wonderful children, and is capable of running long distances.
  • I might not know everything, but I’m pretty clever and can be very dedicated to learning something when it suits me.
  • I’m hyperaware which can be annoying, but it also means I notice the little things going on around me. I’d probably make a good detective!
  • I feel like I’m not doing enough or I’ve let people down, but that’s because I always want to do the best I can, all the time.
  • I worry about what people think of me, but that’s because I want to be recognised for getting things right.

There are so many ways we can choose to look at ourselves negatively, but if we flip them, we can see that they generally come from a good place. There isn’t a nasty bone in my body, but that doesn’t mean I don’t make mistakes. I guess what matters is the way we deal with our mistakes and slip ups. A few years ago I started following a blogger who really said things as they were. She was unashamedly herself and it was refreshing to see someone who wasn’t perfect just being herself without making excuses. It reminded me that no one is perfect. No one really can be, but it’s hard to apply it to yourself. But, I’m working on it.

Things happen, even when we don’t want them to, but what we can do is to make the best we can from our circumstances. So that means not just being kind to others, but treating ourselves with kindness and compassion too.

Much love,
Claire x

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