An Open Letter to the Perfectionist in Me

Dear the perfectionist in me,

 

First, I want to commend you for all of the achievements you have made. You always keep moving forward despite all life has thrown at you. You are a strong, resilient person, but you do not have to be this way all of the time. It is okay to say, “I can’t do it.” You are your own biggest fan, but you are also your own worst enemy. It is okay to not be perfect.

You push yourself so hard because you know you can do anything you set your mind to. But you push yourself too hard, especially for school. The point of school is not to make straight A’s. The point of school is to learn, so ease up. Every day of school should not be an all nighter. Sometimes you need to take a breather. You are not Superwoman, so stop trying to do everything. Complete what you can today and do the rest tomorrow. You know you have what it takes, so believe in yourself.

 

Stop trying to impress people. Stop trying to compete with people. Stop trying to prove yourself to others. You know yourself better than anyone else, and you know your worth. It is so easy to compare yourself to other successful people around you and ask yourself “Why am I not like that?” You are not like that because you are you, not them. You have your own path, so follow it.

 

It is okay to be selfish. When someone asks you for help, help them if you can. If you cannot help them, that is fine. There is a reason why airlines say to put your oxygen mask on first before helping others: you come first. Decide what is best for you.

 

Do not be afraid to fail. Failure is a part of life. Everyone has to fail at some point in life. If you fail an assignment, a friend or even yourself, let it go. You cause only more damage when you do not forgive yourself. Let yourself make mistakes.

 

Make time for yourself. You like to stay busy and juggle several tasks at once, but you need to take time to check up on your mental state. Take some time to see how you are doing. You can do yoga or take a bath and clear your mind of all of your thoughts and think of only you.

 

Being a perfectionist is a blessing and a curse. You have no issue with staying motivated and you always get what needs to be done done, and you do it well, but at what cost? Being a perfectionist only adds more stress and fear into your life. Sacrificing your mental health to be perfect is not worth it. Whenever you feel overwhelmed with perfectionist thoughts telling you that you or whatever you are working on is not good enough, turn it around to a positive view. Ask yourself “What if my work is the best in class?” or “What if I’m the best in my field?” It is time to confront that perfectionist voice and be the best that you can be.

 

Signed,

 

A freed person