I never wanted to be a perfectionist. But I am a first-born, South Asian, child of immigrants, and a Virgo in addition, so somehow, I found a comfort in order and achievement. That way of being gave me external validation that was comforting. It also led to anxiety and the compulsive need to control outcomes and others – at home, at work, with my children.
Life felt like a tornado…
By my late 30s, I was burnt out and exhausted each day as I tried to control everything to keep up with the requirements of being perfect – the perfect mother, wife, worker, friend. Life felt like a tornado and I was barely able to hold on. I realized that continuing on this path might actually kill me, from my reckless driving or other unsafe behavior I was inflicting on my body.
… tiny and slow “turtle step” changes…
I started working with a life coach and started taking tiny and slow “turtle steps” – taking 5 minutes to myself on my yoga mat, drinking more water. This led to medium-sized steps – getting more sleep, meditating, attending Nia dance class – which led to large decisions- saying ‘no’ to non-essential activities, and changing my job.
I learned to listen to that quiet inner voice (she lives between my gut and my heart and has a low tenor voice of an older woman). I followed my small curiosities, which have led me to sculpt a new path, one that is aligned with my inner desires, accentuating the natural gifts that I bring to the world.
… weave together the thin threads of curiosity…
Life no longer feels like a tornado- there are no more hours in the day, but I live them on purpose. I make intentional choices about how I spend my time and am having actual fun with my family and friends because I don’t have the worry-stress reel passing through my brain. I now also make time to engage in my local community, while pursuing projects that match my many passions. Accidental Perfectionist was conceived from those thin threads of curiosity.
… aligning with my inner purpose brings fulfillment and joy.
Most of all, I have learned to let go of the need for external validation, and align my decisions with my inner desires and purpose. That has calmed the tornado of my life, which now brings me fulfillment and joy.