I am a perfectionist. Among other things, this means that I beat myself up for making mistakes. As a human, I always have and always will make mistakes. Sometimes, I even get angry at myself for things I can’t control.
Here are a few examples in the past few months:
I recently got into a relationship, and this took up a lot of my time. Rather than spending weekends doing as much schoolwork as I used to, I spent time with her. My grades suffered. I am having a hard time forgiving myself for this. I know that school is important and expensive, so I feel like a total failure for slacking on this part of my life. I can make excuses like “it’s only my second year so it doesn’t matter,” but these types of excuses let reality linger in the back of my mind. I’m still in the process of making peace with myself for messing up. I can’t say I’m completely over it. However, I’m trying to be gentle with myself. For me, part of self care is being kind, not hateful towards myself. When I get into a bad funk, my self-talk can be so critical and mean. I made a mistake. I will not try to negate that. I also know that I will be okay.
I spent time feeling the happiest I’ve ever felt this year. I know I can work hard and do better next time. That’s as positive as my self-talk can get right now. So, reader, this is less an advice post and more of a solidarity post. If your self-talk is detrimental, and you can’t forgive yourself for mistakes you’ve made, I am with you. I am also improving upon it, and I know you can too. Life is all about growth – “progress, not perfection.” Being a perfectionist is exhausting, so I’m trying to give myself rest by being kind to myself and reminding myself that to be human is to mess up, and that’s part of what makes life beautiful.
Written by: Kenzie Morin