what they don’t tell you about perfect (itty bitty thoughts)
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I spent the majority of my childhood worried about being perfect, and that followed me into adulthood.
Get good grades.
Make good choices.
Now, don’t put drama where there isn’t any. Perfection wasn’t anything put on me by another person, it was something I’d created in my own head.
I was a rule follower. I defaulted to coloring inside the lines because what would people think if I scribbled?
Or didn’t color at all?
In aiming for perfection, it hurts when you miss. So I was a don’t make people mad person. An if people are mad, do what you can to bring back the peace person. A person who sacrificed bits of herself for the good of anyone else in the room who was louder or bigger or important-er.
Because I wanted to keep things perfect-er.
Now, this may come as a “wait, what?” to some of you, because I’m often told now that people appreciate me because I’m so honest and real.
(Which isn’t “perfect” by the world’s definition, because hello, mind your manners, girl. Bite your tongue.)
I’m often told now that people feel they could just sit down at my kitchen table and have a cup of coffee with me any time.
(Which isn’t “perfect”, because hello, aren’t you supposed to clean behind the fridge before people come over?)
So what changed?
Because something did change.
And I feel it’s important to point it out
because lots of people are trapped by the idea of perfection.
And there is something They don’t tell you about perfect.
So if you’re someone who struggles with perfect somewhere in your life,
because this might help you, too.
Here’s what I heard one day
that changed it for me.
I heard somewhere
(more than a few years back)
that perfection is (sometimes) just another form of narcissism.
And when I thought about it that way
Because. it. was. true.
Because perfection says you believe everyone else is thinking about You
And that’s why you have to keep all the balls in the air and wear the right lipstick and make the right choices and keep your smile on tight.
That’s why you have to hide everything else.
Because what will people think?
And They are thinking about You!
Let me tell you the thing that finally made me stop holding my breath.
The thing that helped me finally be able to exhale.
If you’re trying to keep all the balls in the air and keep up appearances and keep things perfect-er, ask yourself a very uncomfortable question:
Are you trying to be perfect for all of Them because you think all of Them reserve space in their brains for you?
Here’s the secret.
Lean in close.
They’re not thinking about You.
But Amy, yeah they ARE thinking about Me.
No, they’re not thinking about You. They’re only thinking about you (see the small Y?) in the sense of what you can do for them
Be for them
Represent for them.
Or get them in life.
Ask me how I know.
Listen to me.
stop holding your breath.
get out and live.
be fully you.
— Amy Dingmann, 10-9-20