Perfect…to Progress!

Saying that I am a Type A personality is an understatement! I like structure and control, especially in situations that may be stressful or unknown. I am very good at planning and being as proactive as possible. These are not bad traits…it is exactly these traits that have gotten me where I am! I have gone from a small town girl, afraid of EVERYTHING, to living comfortably in the big city with a job that affects a lot of people! And, I am not sure people who knew me when I was young would have ever thought I would get to this point in life.

I also have to confess…for most of my life, I have been a perfectionist. Due to circumstances in my world, I felt that if I were “perfect”, people would love me. I don’t allow myself to fail…I am sure to be the hardest working person in the group…I strive to wear the best outfit…needing to be perfect. And, wow…this mindset is EXHAUSTING…and very disappointing.

As I have aged and grown as a strong woman, I realized that perfection is definitely unreachable. I have had to learn how to give myself grace…give myself permission to make mistakes…and learn to love progress over perfection. This was not easy. It took a lot of reflection and self-assessment. It took a lot of work learning to love myself as I am, and not the image I thought I needed to be. This is not easy work! Let me share with you how I did it.

  • I spent time reflecting and writing down everything I loved about myself. I had to find my best qualities that I could build on. As a perfectionist, this is not easy…we look for everything we do wrong, so if you begin to do this, you have to focus and stay on the positives.
  • Then, I looked at uncontrollable factors in my life that were stopping me from reaching every one of my goals…these were the things that no matter how much I obsessed over them, I was not going to be able to change them. I wrote them down…writing things down really does make them more real.
  • Then, I set new goals for my life…realistic goals. No, I was never going to be the President of the United States (looking back on that, thank God I changed my mind there!). But, I had to really look at what I could accomplish. Now, these were not little goals…there were still big…and scary…and would still require work to achieve…but realistic.
  • Once I had goals, I developed plans, or timelines for accomplishing my goals. I included milestones…places along the path when I would reward myself for my hard work…look at that…I had begun to focus on progress!
  • Along the way, I did a lot of reflection and readjusting…as any smart woman would do…as, life is life. We can have the best plans, the best goals, and believe with all of our heart that we can achieve them…but we really do have to remember to give ourselves grace along the way. And, friends, this was the BIGGEST lesson I had to learn…and to be truthful, still working on!

As I progress through my 50’s and prepare to announce BIG changes in my life, I keep my planners, my notes to self, and my motivational items that keep me moving forward…and keep me focused on PROGRESS! Life is hard some days, and for the former perfectionist, finding a way to learn that people will love you unconditionally, not only when you achieve your big goal, is key to living your BEST life! Until next time! ❤️

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