"Fixer Upper" star Joanna Gaines has admitted she used to be a "textbook control freak" who constantly sought perfection -- until a devastating back injury changed her perspective.
"I used to want to do everything, be everything," the 39-year-old HGTV star writes of her career in design in the latest issue of The Magnolia Journal. "This may make me sound like a textbook control freak and I probably was."
She added, "There was something more sinister hiding in my best-laid plans. I realize now that I found my self-worth neatly packaged together with all that I did."
However, Joanna was forced to slow down after a back injury she suffered during her high school cheerleader days re-emerged. While the situation was less than ideal, Joanna said it forced her to take break and give up control.
"I started to witness others solving problems in ways I would never have thought of," she writes. "I saw them come alive as they were given the space and encouragement to really go after it without me standing over their shoulder waiting for them to make a misstep."
Taking a break, Joanna said, also allowed her to discover her true passion in life: "I love creating beauty. That's my lane," she says, "I am no longer going to fall into the trap of believing that I need to be the best at everything."
Following her dreams certainly paid off: Joanna, along with her husband Chip, is now couple is now at the helm of a home improvement empire that includes a hit HGTV show, quarterly magazine, real estate company, and paint, rug, wallpaper and furniture line.
This is not the first time the reality star has opened up about her struggle with perfectionism. In
a powerful "I Am Second" video, Joanna revealed that Chip's willingness to take risks and step out in faith allowed her to experience God in a whole new way: "God had a funny way of bringing me Chip, to almost have this reality of what it's like to follow Christ, which is a lot of things are going to push you to a place of discomfort; a lot of things are going to push you to place of freaking out.... I don't want to be in a box anymore, I don't want to play it safe...because where the impact is, is over here on the other side."
She continued: "My walk with God when I was little, all the way up to my 20's, was always, 'Play by the rules, and you'll be blessed.' But then I met Chip, and I feel like now it's, 'When you take a step out in faith, when it makes absolutely no sense, I think that's where the greater reward is. There's no telling where that will take you...I was made for a reason, and I need to let whatever God has created me for, that needs to be known, I don't need to stay hidden."