There are a lot of things that can be said about me… some good, some bad, and I’m sure some that I would never even think of. One thing that I am told a lot, is that I am so happy. It’s true for the most part, I am (typically) a happy person. That being said, I think that it’s not a rare occasion that us “always happy people” are happy on the outside and at war with ourselves on the inside.
See, I am a perfectionist. Seemingly only when it comes to work, things for others, and myself. There is a major difference between three of these things though. Me being a perfectionist shows itself in my work in the form of triple checking, asking (arguable too many) questions, and continuing to work at a task until I can get it as close to completely right as possible. In things for others, me being a perfectionist rears its ugly head in the form of large amounts of time spent doing and re-doing things until I think that it’s up to the standards that they (“they” tends to end up being me being hard on myself… I have never had anyone upset with my tasks, but if I think that they deserve better, I refuse to let them settle on what I deem “not good enough”) set for me. Then there something that has been bouncing around my brain quite a bit lately.
I am a perfectionist when it comes to myself. Yes, those of you who know me probably just laughed (or scoffed) because I am far from perfect. The thing that sets being a perfectionist about myself apart from being a perfectionist about work and gifts/tasks for others, is simply what outcome it produces. With work and with things for others, I end up making the end result better. Yes, it takes longer and that tends to be a pain, but it tends to make me work harder at something and motivates me to get it right. With being a perfectionist about myself ( yes, I know that no one is perfect, it doesn’t stop me from nitpicking), the motivation that I typically use to generate a better outcome, turns into self deprecation.
I can’t seem to get myself in the mindset of, “Hey, you aren’t happy with where you are at currently, but you will get there”. Instead, it turns into a deprecating inner monologue of, “Well, here you go again, you’ve already failed so many times before, what makes you think that this will be any different? You might as well just give up on that now”. Once that gets stuck in my mind, the same driving force that normally helps me, starts tearing me down with the same tenacity that it uses to attack all other tasks.
I tell you all of this because, like I said, this has been bouncing around my brain quite a bit lately. The more I thought on it, the more I realized that it’s devastating to your happiness. I once was told (and even wrote a post on) how only you can make yourself happy. I still believe that, but I have also started to realize that we are often our own source of misery (okay, misery sounded good, but a bit harsh… ) as well.
For everyone out there that is struggling with this same problem, please see that you’re not alone. I have been right there with you. Moving forward though, I want you to challenge yourself to the same thing that I am. I am spending every day, from now on, working to improve how I think of myself and how I conduct my inner dialogue. No more self deprecation; only self motivation. I urge you to do the same, because I am willing to bet that if someone else said half of the things about you that you say about yourself, you’d call it abuse.
You can achieve self-love and happiness, though. One day at a time, one minute at a time, one second at a time… whatever it takes to achieve that happiness in a healthy way. Just keep moving forward.
Thank you for taking the time to read and if you are feeling alone or lost in the endless cycle of trying to love yourself and coming up short, please reach out to me. I am always here to listen when you need it, and talk if you want it. You will get through this. Remember, even when you are far from perfect, you are always close to happy; all you have to do is work towards a better mindset. I hope that you enjoyed this post and as always, much love and God bless!
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out I Choose Happiness and Treating Yourself With The Same Kindness You’d Give Others.