Join Isabel Romero as she shares her journey in health, fitness and mental wellness. Her goal is to serve as an inspiration to others by helping all her readers achieve their personal best.
A basic human emotion that I believe most people experience at one point or another throughout their lives is the fear of not being enough. The fear of being imperfect. I know this because it’s something I have struggled with most of my life, and recently, I have discovered how many others struggle with this as well. In talking to people in my “research pool” of friends (thanks guys!), I have also learned that this plagues women, particularly mothers, more than men.
My never-ending quest for perfection started from a very young age. I think it all ties in with that desire to be flawless in other people’s eyes in order to gain more acceptance. Over the past year, I have become so much better at settling for being “good” and sometimes even just “okay/ordinary”. But the true thrill I have always sought out is perfection. It’s draining.
There are actually very few times in life that being perfect even pays off. I will give you one example. Root canals are the bane of my existence when it comes to dentistry. A tiny little canal inside a massive tooth scares the shit out of me. I would rather do a full mouth of extractions and be elbow deep in blood rather than do a root canal. I once had a patient that I didn’t know was a former hygienist. When I finished her root canal, it wasn’t totally perfect, so I drilled everything back out and started over, taking every step to make sure that root canal was flawless. At the end of her appointment, she confessed that she was in the dental field and was blown away by what I did. Alright, that was my one example of perfection paying off because my patient was so happy and appreciative. Moving on.
Last month, I was standing outside of Catalina’s school to pick her up, and I silently watched a little elementary school mommy-drama scene unfold. It was “Dr Seuss week”, and every day had a specific theme. Friday, was “wear all green” day. As one mom walked up, she looked around as school was dismissed and saw that everyone was wearing green. She hung her head down and said “Oh my God. I can’t believe I didn’t send Nathan to school in green today. Oh my God!.”. She was visibly upset, and I felt sad that she was so sad! Another mom looked at her and said “Oh gosh, that stinks. Oh well, hopefully he will get over it.” I almost went over there and punched her in the face. This mom was clearly a member of the “I’m so perfect and do nothing wrong” club. Shortly thereafter, another mom walked up to her and said “hey, don’t sweat it! I totally forgot to send Julia in with her silly hat on Monday. We have all been there! It’s tough keeping track!”. This second woman, in my eyes, was a courageous bad ass. She was flawed, and she had no problems admitting it.
Perfection, in great part, is a matter of perception. In my Bell Leadership course a few years ago, in my list of positives, someone put “Perfectionist”. In my list of negatives, someone wrote “Perfectionist”. I laughed…and yet I agree with both people. It’s totally okay to not know everything all the time and to not do everything perfectly all the time! The people who love you and matter in your life will embrace your flaws and love you regardless. So even though I have already begun working on this, from here forward, every day, I will love every flaw I have. I am the epitome of the imperfect perfectionist. And that’s perfectly fine with me.
Peace, love, health and happiness,