Why your self-worth is tied up in the pursuit of perfect (and what to do about it)

Hey all! I’m back today with the #perfectionistproblems series. It’s the 15th episode and we’re down in the home stretch. Read this to learn more about the backstory of how and why this series got started.

I’ve been thinking a lot about self-worth this year, especially in relation to perfectionism. Digging deep into the root cause of perfectionism and all the ways it negatively affects our lives has led me to believe that self-worth is a central theme in dealing with perfectionism.

Let’s talk a little more about that.

It’s the 15th episode of the #perfectionistproblems series for soul-connected yet stressed-out creatives and recovering perfectionists. Are you a frequent passenger on the self-worth struggle bus? Click through to learn all about how you can untangle your self-worth from the pursuit of perfect and the 2 mindset shifts I went through to make that transformation happen in my own life.

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As someone who’s committed to living a soul-connected life and seeking out imperfection, gratitude, and authenticity in everything that I do, working through my own self-worth issues has been an interesting and enlightening journey.

For the longest time my worth was deeply tied up in the pursuit of perfect. This pursuit rarely (or never) actually led to perfect and, as a result, my self-worth suffered, my confidence went down the drain, and I started doubting myself and my capabilities.

Here’s the kicker, this is what perfectionism does to you: while you know that your perfectionism is the thing that crashes your confidence and has you doubting your worth, you also think that perfectionism is your way out. You think: “If only I do this perfectly, then I’ll be successful and people will like me and I’ll feel like I’m good enough again.” This was my warped way of thinking for the longest time.

What I’m accepting and embracing now is the mindset that I am more than just my work and that I inherently have self-worth because I am human. I’ve banished the word ‘hustle’ from my vocabulary as I know I don’t have to hustle for my worth through my business, my personal life, my creativity, or my achievements.

 
 

These are the mindset shifts that have helped me stop hustling for perfection, approval, and self-worth and start focusing on the things that truly matter instead.
 

MY SELF-WORTH ISN’T TIED TO HOW PRODUCTIVE I AM
 

From an early age you’re presented the message that success in life is directly linked to how hard you work. Pulling an all-nighter (or an all-weekender, is that even a word? ;) is glorified. Whether you’re happy with your day or not  is determined by how productive you were.

The key for shifting my way of thinking? Redefining what it means to be productive.

Here’s my definition: “Productivity is the means with which you get to work towards fulfilling your purpose. Productivity is not about working harder, it’s about working purposefully.”

A day where I got a lot of work done but there was no time for self-care is not a productive day. A day where I didn’t fuel my creative fire is not a productive day. A day where I spend the majority of my time doing things to please others or to win approval is not a productive day.

This last year I’ve embraced being purposefully productive. I’ve also made the conscious decision to slow down, be mindful of how I spend my energy, limit the amount of stimuli,  and prioritize rest. This doesn’t mean that behind the scenes I’m not still working hard and that sometimes I feel guilty for not doing more, but when that happens I remind myself that giving in to those thoughts would mean straying from truth of how I want to live my life.

 
 

MY SELF-WORTH COMES FROM WITHIN
 

A huge part of this journey for me has been the realization that self-worth and feeling like I’m good enough has to come from within. My worth is real, even if it’s not seen or recognized by others. I want to be able to make my own life feel true and real just by living it every single day.

This doesn’t mean I don’t want to share my journey - which I’m doing that right now - but that the intention behind sharing vulnerably has changed. I no longer share to get approval and affirmation, short-change connection, and feel more worthy as a result.

You can celebrate your own growth, be proud of yourself and be your own biggest cheerleader without someone holding your hand along the way.

You are not just a creative, a professional on a career path, or a business owner. You are more than just a life partner, sibling, or friend. You are more than just one thing. You are worthy just because you’re a living breathing human made up of all the things that make you who you are.
 

My challenge for you this week is this: can you untangle your self-worth from your perfectionism and all the other limitations you’ve placed upon it? I truly hope my journey to self-worth and the realizations I’ve made along the way can help you in yours.

 

I’d love for you to share your trials and triumphs when it comes to feeling worthy in the comments below!