Dear Perfectionist,

I see you.

I see your desire to be perfect in everything you do.

I see you doing everything in your capability to please everyone, even people you hardly know.

I see the battles you have with yourself when you don't perform like you wanted.

I see your tears when the pressure becomes too much.

I see your pain when someone doesn't like or accept you.

I see the people waiting for you to slip up and screw up.

I see the negative thoughts you have toward yourself.

I see you longing for acceptance and approval... from everyone.

I see your perfectly organized, color coded and packed to the max calendar.

I see you beat yourself up when you mess up.

I see the endless amounts of effort you pour into everything you do.

I see you because I'm I'm a perfectionist too.

I know the struggles you face everyday. I know the guilt you face when you give yourself a break when you know there are a thousand other things to be doing. I know how worn out you are. I know how defeating it feels to not measure up. I know how it feels to feel worthless. I know how your image means everything to you. I know right now in this very moment you're wondering how you'll ever get everything you need to get done today...

I know that your need to be perfect controls you... I know this because I have allowed perfectionism to control my minute by minute move too...

Ever since I can remember I've always had to make the perfect grades, follow all of the rules, be good at everything make friends with everyone, always look nice and so on. I've cried and beaten myself up over a B. I've stayed up until the early hours of the morning studying. I've said YES to people when I know I don't have time to do anything else. My calendar is loaded every single week... The need to be perfect is basically in my DNA (don't quote me on that one, though).

But here's what I've learned lately my dear, fellow perfectionist friends...

You can't be good at everything.

You will mess up. A lot.

B's aren't going to destroy your life.

Not everyone is going to like and accept you. Some people will despise you.

You won't please everyone.

It's OKAY to neglect obligations every once in awhile.

It's also okay to say NO to something when you know you don't have time for it.

Sometimes you say stupid things.

It's okay to be wrong.

It's okay to cry, it's not a symbol of weakness but rather one of realism.

There is NO definition to success. You get to define it yourself.

Sometimes you won't cross off everything on your calendar and to-do-list.

Sometimes life will throw you a bunch of sour lemons.

Sometimes you're going to quit.....

AND IT WILL ALL BE OKAY! YOU WILL BE OKAY!

You will make it....

You'll grow from your mistakes and you'll be a better person because of your experiences.

This life is hard enough without you beating yourself up over something that isn't as relevant as it seems to be in the moment.

It's okay to color code your calendar. It's okay to push yourself to your max. It's okay to strive towards a goal or many goals. It's okay to seek acceptance. It's okay to be involved in a lot. It's okay to desire and need success. It's okay to stay up all night every once in awhile. It's okay to be slightly uptight. It's okay to be motivated and driven in life...

But listen up, when you see yourself allowing the need and desire to be all of those things controlling your every move, that's when it's not so okay anymore. That's when you must take a step back and evaluate what's really important...

For me, knowing Jesus, the only perfect man to ever walk the earth doesn't expect perfectionism from me, is the best reminder of all...

Jeremiah 29:11 says: "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

My Heavenly Father has plans for me, and He has plans for you. This life may do everything in its power to harm you, but if you lean into the One who really is perfect and in control of it all, rest assured, your future is SO bright.

You don't have to be perfect. You don't need to be perfect. And truth is, you won't ever be perfect.

And that's totally okay. You just need to be you, you're beautifully made AND enough without the world's acceptance and definition of success and perfectionism.

You will be okay.

Sincerely,

A perfectionist who isn't letting perfectionism control her any more