I Won’t Be Loved If I’m Not Perfect: Worry Journal Exercise

I Won’t Be Loved If I’m Not Perfect: Worry Journal Exercise

When you associate perfection with love, it becomes your end goal – the perfection part, I mean. And that’s a losing battle for reasons we all know: We aren’t perfect, and we never will be. I’m tired of chasing a purpose that’s so misguided, and the only way I can see to stop it is to change the mistaken belief it’s based on.

Situation / Trigger

Criticizing myself

Negative Thought

I won’t be loved if I’m not perfect.

Anxiety Level (1-10)


Evidence For

When I’ve made mistakes in the past, people have criticized me, laughed at me, given up on me.

Some devastating examples:

One time when I gained weight, my ex-boyfriend told me he “likes me small.”

One night when I lost focus in a college production of Romeo and Juliet, the front row laughed during my death scene.

Almost every time I’m awkward in small talk at parties, people walk away.

Evidence Against

Not everyone walks away.

Not everyone in the audience laughed.

My ex-boyfriend is an idiot.

People love imperfect me all the time.

What’s More Likely True

Some people won’t love me if I’m not perfect, and that’s okay because those people don’t matter. Except for one: Me. I don’t love myself when I’m imperfect, and that’s a problem because I matter a lot.

Alternative Thought / Positive Affirmation

I love myself, as is, all the time.

Anxiety Level (1-10)


What’s Worrying You?

Keep your own worry journal and work it through. I picked up this tool in cognitive behavioral therapy. Inevitably, my anxiety level at the end of the exercise is less than it was when I started. I hope it works that way for you, too.

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I'm a writer living in Los Angeles with my fiance Andy, our cat Spanky, and our guinea pig Monty. I'm also the founder of Plenty Woman, an inspirational, informative website that helps women manage anxiety.

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