5 Ways to Embrace Imperfections | InspirationIndulgence.com

I’ve struggled with my perfectionism for as long as I can remember, starting from when I was a little girl. I always held extremely high expectations for myself, and had an unwavering fear of failure. Growing up, I had a reputation for being the “golden child.” I had straight  A’s in school, was liked by teachers, had many friends, and was a natural born leader. I excelled in high school; I was our class president for three years, captain of my Varsity softball team, and National Honor Society president my senior year of high school. Sounds like a perfect life, right? However, I also struggled with many aspects of myself that I did not let others know about, including my obsessive need to be perfect, and to succeed.

From an early age on, I remember feeling unworthy and depressed over the silliest things if I did not reach my own expectations. I still remember how devastated I was when I messed up in the first round of the 7th grade spelling bee; how I felt as if I failed my teachers and my parents. I remember feeling embarrassed if I earned a “B” on a test or paper instead of an A. It absolutely killed me when I realized that I was not as naturally athletic as the other girls on my softball team, and never made All Conference. I specifically remember my senior year when I was in the running for a national scholarship and lost the title to a friend of mine. I was so destroyed that I bawled the whole way home and remember feeling like I didn’t even want to live anymore because I couldn’t amount to anything.

Things really became difficult when I went to college. Transitioning to a large campus where no one knew me and my successes was hard. I worked hard to build my reputation up in high school, and all of a sudden it was like I was a nobody. I didn’t know how to make myself stand out in the crowd. I struggled with classes because they were much more difficult than in high school, and received the first D in my life. I based my worth upon what guys thought of me and was depressed that all the guys seemed more interested in my friends instead of me. Prior to college I was always a healthy girl, but with all of the stress, my health deteriorated. One night I was rushed to the hospital with an ulcer. In addition, that year I gained 15 pounds and developed a severe skin rash breakout on my face. I was depressed and unhappy. I lived my life doing everything I possibly could to be liked and to excel, and measured my happiness according to my success and popularity.

Ultimately, perfectionism has never served me.

 

5 Ways to Embrace Imperfections | InspirationIndulgence.com

I do not think that I will truly ever overcome perfectionism. I believe that perfectionism is, rather, something that I must learn to cope with for the rest of my life. I was greatly inspired by one of my best blogging friends, Molly from Style Miss Molly, and her latest post on her own struggle with perfectionism. Her post encouraged me to look at some of my greatest flaws, and do a little soul-searching on what matters most in life.

I will admit that it pains me to type out my personal “flaws.” I am a huge believer in positive self-talk, so why should I analyze all of the things that I do not like about myself? However, I believe that sometimes within the messy, we find raw beauty.

25 of my current greatest flaws //

1.) I worry so much that people will get mad at me when I say “no” to their demands that it gives me incredible anxiety, sometimes in the form of a migraine.

2.) I constantly compare my blog to other fashion blogs and wonder why my blog has not grown as fast as theirs, or gets as many “likes” on Instagram as their posts.

3.) I have anxiety over social media. Sometimes after I post something, I delete it right way in fear of what others may think.

4.) I get deeply insecure about the freckles, the birthmark, and the chicken pock scar on my face in that sometimes I crop my head out of my blog photos.

5.) I sometimes think that I talk too much and will literally bite my tongue when having a conversation with other people.

5 Ways to Embrace Imperfections | InspirationIndulgence.com

6.) I sometimes compare my ability to be an effective counselor to my other classmates’ abilities within my counseling grad program. 

7.) If I am not busy, I feel guilty, like I am not doing enough to be successful.

8.) I will compare myself to where others are at in their current stage of life, and wish that I was in that stage. i.e. marriage, having babies, buying a house, etc.

9.) I feel like a failure over the littlest things, such as not completing my to-do list for the day.

10.) I feel guilty over the fact that I don’t like being with people 24/7. I am an introvert probably more than I am an extrovert.

5 Ways to Embrace Imperfections | InspirationIndulgence.com

11.) I am always trying to lose “just 7 lbs.”

12.) I constantly worry what others think about time.

13.) I struggle with feelings of negativity so much, which is why I always try to blog about positivity.

14.) I struggle asking for help and often feel like a burden to others when I do.

15.) I have a temper that flares up easily.

5 Ways to Embrace Imperfections | InspirationIndulgence.com

16.) After having a venting session with a friend, I often wish I hadn’t done so. I struggle with feelings of guilt and shame. 

17.) I feel like I can’t make a decision for myself without consulting others about what they would do in my position.

18.) I am extremely impatient.

19.) I have this idea that people are always judging me, even when they may not be. 

20.) I am clumsy and have been teased about this, which has made me even more insecure.

21.) I have anxiety about the littlest things that wouldn’t normally bother other people.

22.) I have to live in a clutter-free zone otherwise I can’t function. I get obsessive about it.

23.) I struggle with letting go of grudges and forgiving after people hurt me.  

24.) I struggle with conflict and being upfront with people when I’m upset. 

25.) I never feel quite as successful as I wish to be.

5 Ways to Embrace Imperfections | InspirationIndulgence.com

After writing down all of the things that I do not like about myself, I feel as if a pound of bricks has collapsed my chest. And even now, as I’m typing this, I worry about hitting the “publish” button and letting the world know about all of my imperfections. However, writing has always been an incredible coping mechanism for me to work through my feelings, and I am reminded of why I blog; to be advocate for my readers to love themselves as they are, despite their flaws. So what better way to face my fear than to click “publish”?

5 Ways to Embrace Imperfections | InspirationIndulgence.com

The hard question is, how do we accept our imperfections? How do we overcome these obsessive, perfection-seeking, unrealistic thoughts? I may never know the secret, but I’ll share what has helped me cope with my own perfectionism in the past.

1.) Affirm Yourself

I am a huge believer in the power of affirmations. So much, in fact, that I say certain things aloud to myself daily. Writing this post of 25 Daily Affirmations was incredibly therapeutic for me, as I believe will be for you. Sometimes, just saying positive things to yourself out loud empowers and boosts your confidence. Changing your inner dialogue changes those intrusive thoughts.

2.) Journal

At least for me, sorting out those messy, ill-tempered thoughts on paper is helpful. Writing can provide a form of clarity and peacefulness that you may have not felt before. Journaling is wonderful because it is just for you. No one else has to read it, and your journal does not have to be perfect.

3.) Focus on Your Strengths

I’m a strengths-based person. Instead of focusing on the negative, try to focus on the positive. What do you LOVE about yourself? What brings you joy? What are you proud of? What strengths do you bring to the world?

4.) Ask for Help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Of course, with my counseling background, I’m a huge advocate for therapy, no matter where you are at in your life. Many people think that counseling is only for people who have big problems. Not true. I, myself, see a counselor from time to time. In some other cases, asking for help can be as simple as venting to a friend. Don’t be afraid to reach out when you need it, because people love you and want to help.

5.) Self-Care

Prior to my counseling program, I failed to realize the importance of taking care of myself, until I started making time for things that I loved. I immediately saw how much it had an overall effect on my self-esteem and confidence levels. Do yourself a favor and take care of yourself. Whether that is in the form of exercising, meditating, or spending time with family, it will help you to feel better and more at peace with yourself.

5 Ways to Embrace Imperfections | InspirationIndulgence.com

Thank you so much for letting me be vulnerable with you. Perfectionism is an on-going battle, but one that we can beat by learning appropriate coping skills. What does your battle with perfectionism look like? I’d love to hear more about the sorts of things you struggle with in your life, and how you cope with these intrusive thoughts.

“You were born to be real, not to be perfect.”

If you need more encouragement, be sure to stop by my Facebook and Instagram, where I regularly update my readers with inspirational bits.

This gorgeous photography is by Kate from KLEM Studios. You can find her on FacebookInstagram and her blog!

Xoxo,

  • Girl, I am pretty sure we are the same person in many, many ways. Guilt, shame, and worry over what others think are HUGE impacts in my life.
    I too write about the things I struggle most with. Sometimes I feel like a hypocrite, but them I realize that I am able to encourage people in those areas because I know how it feels to be on the other side.
    And as far as asking people what they would do in a given situation, I don’t actually think that it’s a bad thing. It’s good to get other people’s advice if you know they are wise people- as long as you don’t rely on their opinion soley. Sometimes I do this simply because I don’t want to have to make my own decisions. That’s when it becomes dangerous.
    Love you girl!

    • Aw sweet Kristin! Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I totally do think we have many things in common. Sometimes I feel like I am a hypocrite as well, but I believe that writing encourages me to be a better person. I do rely sometimes TOO much on others about making my own decisions, and you are right, it can be dangerous. We’re in this together, sweetie!

  • Candy Kage

    We all have guilt, shame and worry, don’t let that slow or stop you from continuing your journey. Love that dress.

    • Thank you so much. It’s hard to overcome, but a part of being human!

  • These photos are STUNNING and you are not alone in the comparison game! We are all right there with you! Love your honesty in this post!!

    http://beyondblessedblog.com/

    • Thanks lady. I think comparison affects EVERYONE at some point, no matter WHO you are.

  • Chrissa – Physical Kitchness

    I think so many people can relate to this post. I struggle with this too. Even more so since I started blogging – I just want my site to succeed but it’s hard to not get down on yourself when comparing to others’ that are doing more, have more followers, have bigger sites! I am trying to STOP that comparison game – so not helpful for the success of my blog!

    • Right!!! I totally resonate. Comparison will not serve us at all. It will only disengage us from doing the things we love. Sometimes, taking social media breaks helps me the most. :) You got this, lady!

  • This post was so powerful Chelsea! Seriously, you have come so far and you should be so proud! You are going to make a fabulous counselor because you have something that many people dont: empathy! While I left the field, I can tell you that I was a fantastic counselor while I was in it and quickly excelled in my career (biggest piece of unsolicited advice: practice energy work or something to emotionally protect yourself from the drain you’ll feel in exchanging energy and emotions all day, it’s our jobs to hold the energetic space for clients to “Go there” but in doing so it will kick up a lot for you). The things that made me so good at my job, are the same things I see in you. I know you will be able to use all these life experiences to help so many people <3

    Rachel | The Confused Millennial

    • Rachel, you are making me tear up!!!! Gah. Thank you girl, lady. I do believe that empathy is one of my greatest qualities, and I am so excited to get out into the field and be a school counselor. I will surely be practicing self-care so I do not burn out! Thanks for your sweet comments. I feel like you really see my heart. <3

      • Awe of course! Let me know if you ever need anything when you are in the field! <3

  • Leah Schomberg

    Wow, thank you so much for being so open and vulnerable. I resonate with so many of these and it is so therapeutic to see that so many of us struggle with similar things. Thank you Chelsea. It truly is refreshing to read a blog that is so honest and true to you. It makes me want to strive to be more true to myself. You go girl. You ARE making such a difference.

    -Leah
    http://Www.bloomboutiqueblog.wordpress.com

    • Oh my gosh, thank you, Leah. That means so much to me! So, so much. I hope that my posts can always help others work through their own destructive thoughts. We are all in this together. I’m so excited to meet you!

  • Everyone has their own imperfections. That is what makes us who we are. Don’t be ashamed of anything that you find to be an imperfection in yourself. I too am very impatient and my temper flares up quickly. I have tried to get better with that as I’ve gotten older. I’m still learning because I am far from perfect. I too have a side of me that certain things have to be perfect. When certain rules are bent it drives me crazy though I am at times a rule breaker myself. Thank you for sharing your imperfections with us! Remember you are beautiful girl!!

    • Aw thank you, sweet Mistle. You are too kind and sweet! I try to look at my imperfections as “passions.” haha. I’m always working on myself and striving to be better. We truly are all in this together. You are so beautiful, inside and out!

  • I’m constantly nitpicking myself, mostly about my post-baby body. I lost all the baby weight and have been doing pretty well with exercising and eating better, but I still find myself feeling guilty over everything I eat, and especially on the days I don’t work out. I have to constantly remind myself that I’m doing a great job and the best I can for where I am in life. =)

    • YES!!!! Isn’t that so powerful to type out, Jaime! You need to give yourself some credit. You just created a BEING! A LIFE!!!! :)

  • Such a gorgeous look! And thank you for sharing this inspiring post. I think sometimes it’s difficult to embrace imperfections so it’s nice to see a reminder to keep things real! xo, sharon

    http://www.stylelullaby.com/fashion/swoon-worthy-sweaters/

    • Thanks for stopping by, sweet Sharon! It’s not always easy, but it helps to blog about it.

  • I can relate to this so much. These are excellent tips. I love affirmations. I’ve been carving out more time for exercise, and I definitely notice a difference in my happiness, confidence, and patience.

    • Good for you, Tiffany! Isn’t it amazing to see the power exercise has on us! And yes, I love affirmations. They are life-changing.

  • No, thank YOU for sharing this with us. Too often, we pretend that things are okay when they’re not. One of my friends asked me yesterday if I was okay and I finally said no. We need to be mindful and practice self-love.

    • I LOVE that you told your friend no. It’s so important to be real and honest with the ones that we love, so we can get help. Much love, girl. Hope things get better<3 xo

  • Greta Hollar

    Love all of the fringe! And these are great tips. Everyone should embrace their imperfections.

    Greta | http://www.gretahollar.com

    • Yes! :) Thanks for stopping by!

  • Ashley

    Beautiful post with an amazing message! Love that outfit too!!

    • Thank you for reading, sweet Ashley! Happy weekend! xo

  • I loved this post, Chels! #7 is definitely me too. I never allow myself to relax because I always have to be busy which isn’t healthy.

    • Isn’t it crazy how our culture has systemically taught us to be busy 24/7?! It’s totally not healthy.

  • Kelsie Kleinmeyer

    I love how you end this post with such a positive message. I also so appreciate the vulnerability of what you share. I feel like I need to do that soon, be raw and real about my struggles. I have always struggled with imperfection as well, so this post is perfect for me! Thank you!

    • I feel like you are always raw and honest in your posts, Kelsie! No need to compare yourself. Glad it resonated! <3

  • Ruthie Ridley

    Love this pretty outfit!! I love your positive message! This is so good!!

    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Ruthie! xo

  • Most of these points really resonated with me. I am very much an introverted extrovert. Great tips for bouncing back!

    • Same here! It can be so hard to explain to others. Thanks for reading!

  • Girl, you are gorgeous inside and out! What an amazing post that will bring so much life and encouragement to every reader! Thank you for being so honest and vulnerable. You just spelled out exactly what we all struggle with. You definitely aren’t alone…thank you for who you are and for not giving up, we sometimes expect too much from ourselves, your post is so refreshing!

    • Aw sweet Jessica! Thank you so much. I wanted to write something raw that others could resonate with, and know that they are not alone. Thanks for your sweet words. <3

  • Chels this is a gorgeous post, and a much needed one for me to read… I also struggle with a lot of this.

    whether its worrying about my career, or the blog, or feeling like I “Can’t do anything” even though the reason is that I’m trying to do 8 things at once because I can’t say no..

    you can’t be all things to all people, not even yourself. and that realization is HARD

    xxox
    Laura @ http://www.cookwineandthinker.com

    • Exactly. At some point we have to realize that perfectionism does not exist. We cannot do it all. We are only one person, and all we can ask of ourselves is to be the best version of ourselves.

  • I absolutely love this post, girl. I have struggled with the same things myself, especially the fear of letting other people down. It can be so suffocating. You’re amazing for showing your imperfections!

    • Aw thank you. It helps to write thing out though, trust me!! Thanks for reading! <3