The Perfect Black Tank Top

Home / Uncategorized / The Perfect Black Tank Top
I love to dance and will dance to just about anything. I have been taking an awesome dance fitness class since April, and every couple months the instructor has a filming day. She invites folks from the class to come in and she films the dances for her YouTube channel. So when I heard there would be a filming coming up, I was first in line. Then, to boost my dance-ego the instructor asked if I would come early to do a few dances in a small group. I was so excited and felt so special.

Jump to the day before filming and we are emailing to decide what to wear. It’s decided – black leggings and black tank tops. Simple. Easy. Everyone should have them. But I don’t. I have tons of leggings, but no plain black tank tops. No biggie. I’ll just go pick something up after work. Then, I start thinking about the black tank top I am going to get. I want it to look good, it should be worth spending money on, I want it to last. It has to be the right length, with a flattering neck line, oh and please don’t make my arms look too big…This is going to be the perfect black tank top.

I head to a few shops, but now that I have build up this mythical-life-altering piece of clothing – I can’t find anything. Suddenly nothing will work. Nothing is right. Nothing comes close. I tried on every single black tank top in 5 different stores. Lululemon? No. Lucy? Nope. Calvin Klein Performance wear? Athleta? Lorna Jane? No, no, and no. By the last store, my exhaustion from pulling on scuba-like athletic wear tops is pushing me to the edge. I’m feeling hot, my eyes start to prickle and tears start coming. What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I find the perfect tank top? Wait. Why am I crying over a tank top? And then it dawns on me; this is not at all about the tank top. It’s about me. Somehow in the last few hours my perfectionism got the better of me. The tank top was really a metaphor – what if I wasn’t good enough? I was going to be dancing with two great dancers – who did I think I was? Somehow I let me mind convince me that if I can at least look perfect and fit the part, no one will see when I make mistakes? Right??? Wow. This was a lot to ask of one piece of clothing!

Once the penny dropped I knew what I had to do, and it wasn’t going to be comfortable. I had to talk about it. Living an authentic and imperfect life is a practice. It does not mean that I don’t experience shame or that I don’t fall for the allure of perfectionist ideals from time to time. It does mean that I take the time to stop and look at my behaviors and practice responding differently.

So…instead of letting fear and shame drive me, I met some friends for dinner that night, and I shared my story of the search for the perfect tank top. I spoke my shame and exposed my fears. I admitted to them that I was afraid that I wasn’t a good enough dancer, that I didn’t have the right body, or the right outfit. I spoke my story out loud with people who were able to respond with the empathy I needed. I exposed my shame. And it helped.

Oh, and the next day – I bought a basic tank top from Target and gave myself permission to make mistakes at the filming and have fun anyway. And I did.

Recommended Posts
Contact Us

Start by talking to yourself with kindness!

EMBRACE YOUR AUTHENTIC IMPERFECT LIFE!<br>Start by talking to yourself with kindness!

  • Sign up to receive your FREE copy of 30 Days of Positive Affirmations. This super-awesome PDF file contains 30 unique affirmations beautifully designed to print out and enjoy at home. Cut out your favorite affirmation and tape it up where you will see it and be reminded every day.
  • In addition to your affirmations, you will receive FREE bi-weekly content on how to love your authentic, imperfect life!
  • Join the Imperfectionista community today & stay connected!