I’ve had what I call the unfortunate blessing of being deemed a perfectionist: someone who always seems like she has it together. I used to believe that I constantly needed to have all the answers, and be completely in control.
Sometimes, life presents pretty clear stop signs. For me, it was a seizure in March of 2016. My body was breaking down, and I had to learn let go of having it all together all the time. It was the only choice I had. When I began to release some control – over everything from unhealthy relationships to daily habits – I eventually found that a large amount of my anxiety began to subside.
Letting go is not instantaneous, nor does it come with a cookie cutter step-by-step guide; however, here are a few things I found to be extremely helpful:
Have a heart-to-heart… with yourself.
Everyone has a different reason for carrying perfectionist tendencies. For me, it was fear of judgment. I needed to be perfect so I could be “good enough” and never let people down. What I didn't realize is the weight perfectionism carried. Before I could fully live my life, I had to accept and acknowledge that I couldn’t make everyone happy. Acknowledging and being mindful of what drives your perfectionism is truly the best place to begin.
See each day as a victory.
Remind yourself that letting go doesn’t happen all at once: it’s a practice. Although learning how to let go seems like a lofty task, see what happens when you release some control. Lean into the discomfort, and see each day as a victory. Every day, let go of something that isn’t serving your mental health and well-being, no matter how small it may be. Be mindful of what triggers your anxiety and stress to rise.
Create a meditation practice for yourself.
Guided meditation is something that brings a sense of calm over me almost immediately. You don’t have to have your own meditation room or a 30-day pass to a studio, but creating a practice for yourself is key.
Check in with your mind daily like you would with a friend. Do something that makes you a bit uncomfortable... let go. See how you feel afterwards.