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Only 85% Perfect

Brené Brown calls perfectionism a "shield" that we carry around, "thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from taking flight.”

"Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgment, and shame." — Brené Brown

As a romance writer, I struggle with perfectionism every working hour of the day. It's TERRIFYING to know every word I type will be read—and potentially criticized—by thousands of people. My self-preservation instincts kick in and my first thought is: "I have to give it my all. I need to make sure everything is PERFECT before I show this to anybody."

The problem is: we can't really attain perfection, can we? There's always something that can be improved, no matter how much time and effort you've already spent "improving it."

So I made an important decision last year. I'm not going to try to be perfect anymore.

In every area of my life—career, relationships, eating habits, lifestyle—I'm adopting the "85% rule" and embracing the fact I will NOT be perfect at least 15% of the time.

How has this changed my life so far? I'm writing this blog post, aren't I? I would never have dared share my "unedited writing" with you like this if I was still hiding behind my perfectionism shield.

So I'd like to invite you to think about this... What AREN'T you doing right now that you know you should be doing? Which areas of your life are you "waiting to be perfect" before you give yourself permission to "start living?"


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