Perfectionism requires you to buy into the belief that imperfect beings can be, live and achieve perfection. It’s an idealistic philosophy, but one many cultures subscribe to. Why? The idea that we can be perfect feels good on a superficial level and it satisfies an inherent longing on a deeper one.

There is a desire in all of us to love and be loved. And if you received the message as a child that you were not “good enough” because of the way you look, acted, felt or behaved, you may be continuously searching for validation. You may be seeking it through perfectionism.

Research professor, author, and public speaker Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW recently sat down with Oprah Winfrey on Super Soul Sunday and said the following about perfectionism:

“Perfectionism is not about striving for excellence or healthy striving…it’s a cognitive-behavioral process, a way of thinking and feeling that says this: ‘If I look perfect, do it perfect, work perfect, and live perfect, I can avoid or minimize, shame, blame and judgment.'”

The alternative to hiding behind your fears is to confront them. What if you’re not quite ready to do that? These posts will help you address and become aware of what’s scaring you from anxiety to failure and everything in between. Read it and it may put perfection in its place.You will find that the path toward happiness doesn’t lie in perfection, but in learning to love and accept yourself and your life, perfectly imperfectly as it is.

{Flickr photo by Andy Solo}

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