• Emily Formea

The Trap of Perfectionism

The inevitable moving field goal,

The desire for outer validation in each of us,

The feeling of never being enough for ourselves, so trying to be enough for others…

Perfectionism, baby.

And what does perfectionism cost us?

Sometimes, everything.

Perfectionism can be crippling. It can stop us from achieving our deepest desires, being present, living and loving this moment, and more.

But, it can also be hidden because perfectionists are usually the seemingly most confident people in the room. They’re the Type A’s, overachievers, big dreamers, and ‘never failures.’

But, they’re also the never satisfied souls either.

I was the girl who wasn’t proud of herself. I wasn’t in love with myself and I for sure wasn’t enough for myself, so I had to decorate my outside to the best of my ability to mask the inside emptiness I was experiencing!

When I say I ‘chased everything,’ I DID! And surprise, surprise, I achieved EVERYTHING! I’m not writing this blog to sound full of myself *even though you should seriously be full of yourself* I’m writing this blog to be very vulnerable and admit to something that many of us do whether we realize it or not.

Awareness is key to everything in this Universe, so allow me to shed some awareness on possibly you.

The more I achieved, the more I NEEDED to achieve.

The more people that told me I was pretty, smart, successful, impressive, the more I wanted people to continue the list.

The more awards I typed on the end of my resume, the more people I needed to see the printed version.

And the list goes on and on.

Do I think this is a vanity sort of thing? Not really. I think it’s a ‘I was so out of touch with who I was and how much I mattered JUST BY BEING MYSELF, that I needed other people to tell me I was enough. I needed other people to validate me and my choices and life, etc. because I was not validating it myself.

I needed other people’s love because I didn’t have my own.

And this is where the trap of perfectionism sets in.

As I said before, I could achieve ANYTHING, but every time I achieved something, I just moved the finish line. If I was supposed to have all A’s this semester, and I got all A’s, well then next semester I was getting all A+ 's baby!

And why did I do this?

Because every time I achieved my goal, each time I got that honor, every time I won that leadership title, scholarship, acknowledgement, lost a few more pounds, etc…

I didn’t feel happy.

And that wasn’t my plan.

My plan was to achieve, feel amazing about myself, and ta-dah!

Confidence will overflow me!

Instead… achieving and ‘proving myself’ became a drug.

A true addiction that never gave me the desired effect.

Because if I wasn’t seen, then I had no value, so I had to continuously be seen.


I would be PERFECT then.

In my appearance, education, career, relationships, fitness, and more.

I would achieve everything tenfold and not have a single bad day or bad attribute because *drum roll please* then I would be happy.

That makes sense, right?

Perfectionism allowed me to ignore myself here, in this present moment. Here, I was unhappy with my skin, body, brain, whatever it may be, and I didn’t need to work on loving this girl here, I could put all my focus on how much I WOULD love that girl there.

Perfectionism is an escape. I wanted to leave this girl in the dust, little did I understand that no matter what I achieved, looked like, etc. this imperfect girl was coming with me.

Get it?

Perfectionism allows you to blame your circumstances on why you’re unhappy without admitting that it’s YOU you are unhappy with.

We say things like “Oh, once I have a six-pack I’ll be so confident in myself.”

I can guarantee you, 110% you will not be confident even when you get your 10th pack.

Because insecurities foster on the inside and we as a society try to band aid them on the outside.

We’re bleeding and hurting and struggling and breaking on the inside and we go and buy new makeup. It’s easier, it’s faster, and it’s normal.

What’s abnormal? Meditation, journaling, reading self-growth books, going on retreats, hiring a coach or therapist, crying like a TON, removing friends and situations that don’t serve you, saying affirmations to yourself in the shower each morning… yes out loud! And more!

Successful self-lovers do the work that self-haters laugh at.

You changing ANYTHING out of hatred or the belief that this change will bring you joy, happiness, compassion, fulfillment, abundance… no ma'am and no sir.

If you cannot, right now, love EVERY part of the being that you are… HERE… not the being you dream of becoming, the hairstyle you desire, the money you have been wishing for or the body of the Instagram models you seek for yourself… you won’t love that soul that reaches all of that and achieves even more.

Because it’s still you.

I put all of my value on outwardly things. And every single time, they let me down. More specifically, I let myself down.

Start from ground zero.

Be SO in love with yourself here and NOW that only happiness and good things will come your way. You’ll be amazed at the increase of self-care you have when you stop acting out of self-hatred. You’ll begin to eat well NATURALLY, move and sleep more NATURALLY, you will receive opportunities and fortune and positive relationships NATURALLY because you’re so in love with your imperfect self and not the perfectionist daydream in your head.

You know, the one that doesn’t exist?

Start saying, “I’m so happy here, so good things happen to me,” rather than “Once I have good things, I will be happy.”

You won’t. I wasn’t.

You’ll find something new to chase.

Some new goal to achieve.

Something else wrong with yourself.

Perfectionism is an excuse from loving our true selves in the hopes that one day we can completely alter that person, but we can’t and we for sure shouldn’t want too.

“Perfectionism is just an excuse for self-criticism.”

Stop self-criticizing and start self-healing and accepting.

Because trust me, I’ve done all the self-criticizing the world has ever known and it got me nowhere. The first time I looked in the mirror and truly loved the girl staring back at me for her flaws, beauty, money, choices, beliefs, shortcomings, creativity, mistakes and more…. I went everywhere from then on because I decided to finally take me along for the ride.

Sincerely, XO Emily

Sincerely, XO Emily || 2020

Medical Disclaimer

The information provided on this website is for informational/educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional or be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult your physician or other healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet, medical plan, or exercise routine.