How does one run a consulting business, promote personal branding and development, be a present wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend, take care of her personal needs and feel and look amazing all the time? One doesn’t, I know I don’t, I can’t and I don’t even try anymore. This hasn’t always been my perspective, there was a time when I strived: I’m talking working 12 to 14 hours a day, only stopping to be present for my daughter (I didn’t have a husband then) sleeping a few hours and getting back to it. While, those years as being too competitive for my own well-being, I will and can do all-single-mom lifestyle, is behind me. The lessons I’ve learned will last a lifetime. I’d be lying if I said, my commitment to sustaining a certain level of economic and social lifestyle wasn’t worth the work. It was, and at the time it was the only way I knew how to do it. Work hard, and when it wasn’t enough work harder. Well I’m the first to admit, while it worked for me there were times I was so burnt out, I’d make myself sick, and more often than not, I was not in the moment. When I did make time to celebrate or socialize, I would think of the three other things I was ‘suppose’ to be doing. When I reflect and have an honest conversation with myself, I’ve learned I’m not naturally a social person, which will seem odd to people who know me well. It’s almost like somewhere deeply bedded in my soul, I view it as a luxury and I’ve told myself until my never-ending to-do list is completed, I don’t have time to be social.
Taking a deeper dive into that perspective, its an unhealthy relationship with balance and perfectionism. One exists the other doesn’t. Now, I understand the value of balance and how balance is such a personal thing for each of us. Do I regret missing out on major milestones with people I care about? Yes! Do I regret being able to provide myself and my daughter the type of lifestyle I wanted for us? Absolutely not. While I’ve learned a better system of balance and tons of life lessons along the way, I don’t regret being a hard-working, competitive alpha woman who did what I felt was necessary to achieve what was important for me and little Jai bug (who at 19, happens to be extremely aware of the commitment I strive to make for her). Her appreciative makes me feel fabulous but I believe it was my responsibility.
As much as I’d love to be challenged on my thoughts regarding so many women and our weird relationship with perfectionism, I don’t think it’s going to happen. And, unfortunately as aware as I’m of this weakness, I’m certainly still guilty at times. It’s like perfectionism is that one friend, who really isn’t your friend at all. She is mysterious and alluring to dream with, but in reality, her intentions are never good. Maybe she’s fake because it makes her feel good about herself, or jealous, or maybe she doesn’t know how to be a real friend? Either way, intentional or not, she’s destructive.
Same holds true for perfectionism, not to mention, she doesn’t even exist. Whoa, think about that. We chase the perfect moments to do things, be in the moment, relationships to have, businesses to launch, vacations to take and new adventures to explore. Yet, there are always reasons as to why we have to wait for the perfect time, the perfect weather, the perfect partner, the perfect friend; but, luckily for humanity, perfection in people, places nor things exist. Why is this important to remember? Because, as “Queen Bey” herself says in her song “Pretty Hurts”, ‘Pretty hurts. Shine the light on whatever’s worse. Perfection is the disease of a nation. Pretty hurts. Shine the light on whatever’s worse. Tryna fix something, but you can’t fix what you can’t see. It’s the soul that needs the surgery.” The soul that needs surgery…
I pondered, how will I find the time, how do I, and what ifs’? Until one day, my obsession with chasing perfection slapped me the face. Sure it hurt, bad too! Listen, I can write a book about my years chasing perfection and ignoring balance, but I’ll just say, I’d like to think of myself as rehabbing. But, as with the need to break any bad habit, you have to constantly reinforce and reward new behaviors. And unfortunately, this last month, I found myself backsliding. I kept waiting for the perfect time to do everything, and needless to say, not a lot was done. Fast forward, and now I’m trying to play catch up, and it’s no fun. Lesson learned: perfection is the death of creativity and inspiration. She has ‘zero’ spontaneity, no accountability and only assumes certainty. Perfection chasing shows herself as the search for the one right and perfect answer when in reality, there is no one or a real solution. Life isn’t a puzzle piece nor math! Arghh.
As I whipped myself back into the ‘real world’ of making sh$t happen, I was reminded how the chase of perfection kills our dreams and stops us from exploring projects + new ideas. She has a wicked way of convincing us it’s not the right time, or our idea isn’t perfect or ready. In reality, you are perfectly you; and your dreams and aspirations are the only things driving you to grow and evolve. Your ideas are unique and your visions purposeful. So the next time, you succumb to the voice of the devious, and never well-meaning voice of perfection, tell her f$ck off! The economy, weather, people and thus life, will never be perfect, but you can find balance in it all if you just try. You’re timing will never be right and honestly, you may always be a little wrong and politically incorrect; but- who really cares?? Umm. Cause, what’s better than perfect is done, tried, experienced and ultimately fulfilled: mission accomplished. And, there’s no bigger confidence booster that making sh$t happen; good, bad or indifferent. Just do it!