Jenny Helms, LCMFT Discusses her Journey as a Recovering Perfectionist
You Aren’t Alone, Trust Me
Admittedly, I still struggle with accepting “good enough” or being “okay” at things from time-to-time. Noticing patterns of my past, I used to work as hard as I could to be as good as I could at every venture that I try without setting realistic boundaries, limits, or having much grace for myself in the process. The results? Being in OPM (Overachieving Perfectionist Mode) left me feeling exhausted, depressed, and inadequate.
Knowing this tendency that I had for OPM, I have worked over the past 2-3 years more intentionally to slowly but surely become more okay with just being “okay” and saying “no” to myself on taking on too much. As a business owner who does therapy and other projects on the side — I really have to be cautious about the expectations and goals I set for myself and remember to be grateful for the progress I’ve made in the meantime.
Life is a Marathon, Not a Sprint
One of the most helpful quotes that resonates in my mind when I begin going on an overachieving trail would be that,
“We will never fully arrive. If we think we have arrived, we are already far off course.”
This truth is incredibly helpful for me because I have realized that this whole process of improving is a journey and we will never win at it. So, why not enjoy that journey in the process?
Don’t Create a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
It’s funny because most of my own “big-why’s” for setting certain goals is to become more of the person I think I want to be because I believe it will make me happier, more in touch with my healthier self, more at peace, and better able to serve others…. Ironically, when I get into my OPM which I believe will help me achieve said “inner peace”, all of that goes out of the window and I lose sight of my whole purpose and drift further from happiness, peace, and being attuned to others.
For this reason, I have set lower expectations, and practice being grateful for the “good enough”. I embrace when I don’t get a chance to blog because my day is so incredibly hectic or a client is in crisis. The whole point of this blogging thing is for me to document as I learn and grow — and hopefully for that to be something that is inspiring and helpful in you, my readers, in your own journey of growth.
We can do this, Ya’ll!
So to my fellow perfectionists (or to those who tolerate us!), my hope is that we can SLOWLY (not all at once or perfectly as we will be soooo tempted to do) give ourselves permission to be good enough with things as they are today. To have grace for the moments that we fall and fail. In doing this, I have been able to grow much more in my own personal and professional journey which has been full of failing, spiraling into the shame cave, realizing I’m spiraling into the shame cave, doing things even when I really doubt myself, and practicing gratitude for all the progress I’ve already made.
Cheers to an imperfect, failure-full journey.