For the past few years, I wanted everything in my life to be perfect, structured, planned, and controlled. From my diet and body, to my relationships and career. I put so much pressure on myself with rules, schedules and timelines, had all-or-nothing thinking and a huge fear of failure.
Being in control made me feel safe and gave me a sense of peace. I thought if everything went the way I wanted, I would feel happier, more loved, and my life would eventually get better. But the more I tried to control, the worse I felt. The problem with perfection is that it’s unattainable, so all along I was setting myself up for disappointment. My need for control led to increased anxiety and depression.
It feels scary letting go, but learning to soften means letting go of the struggle. It takes so much effort keeping up with perfection. We are human, we aren’t robots. Life it meant to be lived in flow, to enjoy, to experience. The more I tried to control everything in my life, the more anxious I felt.
When I am trying to control, I am ignoring my intuition. When I am setting food rules and being strict with my diet, I am ignoring my hunger cues and natural body signals.
As I’ve been learning to let go and connect with myself on a deeper level, I am realizing how much I’ve been holding myself back. Some types of control aren’t necessarily a bad thing, like keeping a schedule of my Son’s activities and a calendar of events to keep me organized, but the rigid plan and rules I set for myself, weren’t serving me. I was missing out on opportunities to socialize and connect with people, take risks and grow in business, learn and be more creative, and be spontaneous, enjoying life experiences.
Over the past few months, I have learned to soften. Letting go of control doesn’t mean I’m out of control, but rather, I am releasing the struggle. The struggle in my mind trying to control everything, worrying things won’t go as I planned, and having anxiety and shame when I “screwed up”. I was putting so much unnecessary pressure on myself. Striving for perfection is exhausting.
The pursuit of perfection and control served me in a time when I needed to feel safe. I am learning as I let go of rules, relax, trust myself more, listen to my intuition and inner desires, rather than follow a set of rules that no longer serve me, I am able to live more in flow. The more I live in flow, the more experiences and opportunities have come my way.
Pregnancy has allowed me to soften and let go of the control I had over my body. I had to allow my body to do what it naturally needed to do to grow a baby. I don’t have the choice to manipulate my diet and over-exercise in order to maintain a certain physique. Although I can make the choice to eat healthy and exercise to keep my body healthy and strong, I have to listen to what my body needs and how it feels, to determine how I fuel it and how I move it.
Although scary at first, and difficult to let go of some of the rules and behaviors I was conditioned to act out on, I find the more I soften, the easier life gets. The happier I feel, the more open I become and the more intuitive hits I’ve received from listening to what my body truly desires, rather than fight its natural state and flow.
So, if you too are a perfectionist and always trying to control everything in your life, start by softening a bit.
Let go of rules.
Listen to your body and intuitive cues.
Nobody is putting pressure on you, but YOU.
Living more in flow will open you up to receive, expand and grow.
You deserve to live a more fulfilling life. It’s time to stop holding yourself back.