Hi my name is Brittany and I am a recovering perfectionist. I thought I had to be perfect in order to be loved and valued. I thought everyone was watching me and would only love me if I did everything right and was always happy. I tried as hard as I could but of course I could never attain perfection. I thought love was conditional and at any moment my family and friends would decide I wasn’t worthy of love and I would be the one to blame.
I was really good at hiding this. I worked my butt off to be as perfect as possible. I didn’t get into trouble in my teen years, I got straight A’s and I was an extreme people pleaser. I got my worth from my report cards and praise. It wasn’t until I got married and my husband got to know me on a deeper level than anyone else ever had that I couldn’t hide that part of me anymore.
It manifested itself when there was contention between us. I didn’t trust his love for me. I was constantly worried he would take it away if he was ever displeased with me. When we would get in an argument it would sink me. I would take everything he said as proof that I truly was unlovable. Not only would I be upset about what we argued about but I would also be mad at myself for messing things up and causing grief and contention.
Now keep in mind that I had no idea this wasn’t normal. I thought everyone felt this way. I thought that this was just how life was. We had so many good times where I felt truly happy. It was only when things were bad that I would sink. I would be grumpy for a week beating myself up about how stupid I was. I would blame myself. It wasn’t until I went to counseling that I learned that this wasn’t “normal” and I started uncovering what my core issues were.
I discovered just how much of a people pleaser I was and how extreme my need for perfection was. I uncovered all of my baggage from my life that led me to believe I was unlovable. Most importantly, I learned that my brain was a muscle and just like I could train my body to be healthy I could train my brain to be as well. That was life changing. I got tools to fight off the doubt I had in myself. I learned positive affirmations, I learned self-compassion and I learned that I had value regardless of anything I did.
Journaling my feelings became important to me. I remember one night I journaled all the things that didn’t affect my worth. Things like: how clean my house was, how beautiful I was, how good of a wife I was, how many children I had or the type of adults my children grow up to be, etc. I grew up with strong faith in God and the biggest thing for me that night was to realize that even if I didn’t keep God’s commandments I was still worthy of love. God would love me regardless. I was His daughter and I had value. There was nothing I could or could not do to change my worth. I was born with it and it was unalterable. LIFE CHANGING MOMENT.
As I continued to work with a therapist I also continued to read books and listen to podcasts that taught me important skills. Self-compassion became a huge part of my life. I learned to be kind to myself and allow myself to be human. I am not capable of perfection. NO ONE IS. Being imperfect means I am human. Now, when I don’t reach my idea of perfection I cut myself some slack, remind myself that I am still awesome and I am worthy of love.
I wish I could adequately describe how much this freed my soul. All of the energy I was putting into beating myself up and trying to be perfect was free to go into other areas of my life. I stopped doubting myself and I started believing in myself. Not that I was better than anyone else but that I had value just the way I was. Things changed. Life changed. I started living a fuller life. I started enjoying my life. I accepted my short comings as part of my human nature and moved on without dwelling on them. I saw my strengthens and my weaknesses and embraced them.
At the same time this was happening I had an experience where God told me to get outside and play more. I felt like He was reminding me I only have one life and I needed to live it. I listened. I started doing things I loved more. I stopped telling myself no and making up excuses of why I shouldn’t do things for me. Doing things I loved made me feel alive. It helped me be present and live mindfully. I really started thriving at life.
My family benefited from this. Because I was more awake and present I had more of me to give. My yelling decreased and my patience increased. I was kind to myself and it was rubbing off on my family.
It goes without saying but I’m going to say it anyway, I’m not perfect at this. There are days when the positive self-talk exhausts me and I let the grumpiness take over. But never for long. I have the tools and I know what to do that will help me.
My goal with Get Out There Girl is to help other women live their best life through what I call the three pillars. 1- Self-compassion 2- Adventure 3- Connecting with others. Each of these three areas play a key role in living life to the fullest. Follow along as I show you how.
I’m not perfect and I’m thriving because of it.
I hope you do too.