Why You Shouldn’t Worry About Being Perfect

Have you ever tried to be perfect? Have the perfect body, perfect skin, be the perfect partner, employee, student—the list goes on and on. What is it about perfection that makes us chase after it?

What is perfection?

Perfectionism is an unattainable goal that’s driven by fear, shame and the way we want to be perceived. According to one of my woman crushes Dr. Brene Brown, it is “is a self-destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: “’If I look perfect, live perfectly, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame.’” I think we’ve all struggled with perfection in some way, form or fashion, myself included.

I struggled with being perfect in many areas—primarily in romantic relationships. I remember being afraid to voice my thoughts, feelings, wants and needs or make mistakes or say the wrong thing because I feared confrontation, being seen as someone I’m not, being left or hurt. This left me overwhelmed, overthinking, overly stressed, just over everything. I felt like I was walking on eggshells with every step I took and it was very draining!

The downside of perfection

In a world where we strive to be perfect, we block out the things we truly crave, such as joy, love, and connection and fill ourselves with fear, unnecessary stress, gray hairs, and wrinkles; unrealistic expectations and the need to control.

All of this is exhausting and keeps us from growing by obsessing over our flaws. We start to procrastinate, have creative blocks and not think clearly. There have been numerous times where my thoughts were clouded because I was scared of doing or saying the wrong thing where I wound up confusing my damn self and acting in an inauthentic way. This all leads up to unhappiness and misery. Not only do you put your happiness on the line, there are other problems you can develop as well:

  • Issues falling asleep
  • Having headaches
  • Developing heart disease
  • Engaging in compulsive eating
  • Refusing to let go of control, mistakes, and imperfections

Why you shouldn’t worry about being perfect

What I’ve learned (and still learning) is that living this way is unnatural and much more stressful on myself, the other person or people and the relationships than it is beneficial. Perfection is like armor that we wear to keep us protected. And I get it protection makes us feel safe and who doesn’t want to feel safe. With that all being said you shouldn’t worry about it.

  • Life is too short

We’ve all heard this saying before, but it’s very true. Life is too short to be going around bottled up in fear trying to avoid making a mistake. Can you really see yourself going through life like that forever? It’s like holding your breath. And it’s time to exhale *exhales*. Ahh, imagine the relief.

  • Too much pressure

There are already enough things in the world to worry about, so we don’t need to add any unnecessary weight on us—and a lot of it is unnecessary.

  • Mistakes are inevitable

Let’s just face it mistakes are going to happen. Perfection is a mistake in itself because you aren’t being you and living life at its best. Yes, they’re scary and unpredictable, but that’s where our learning and growing comes from—our mistakes.

Be you and believe in yourself

Instead, focus on:

  • Saying no

This is difficult for many of us including me to do because we want to please the people in our lives even if we break our back in the process. We don’t want them to be angered or disappointed at us, so we shut up, smile and do what they say even though what we really want to say is hell no!

But, we have the right to protect and honor our boundaries and the things we do and do not want to do. Some people won’t like it and will even think you’re being selfish, they’re wrong. Saying no is not selfish it’s selfull.

  • Stop fearing failure

I don’t really believe that we fear failure. Speaking from personal experience, I believe what we truly fear is things not going the way we want or expect them to be and equate that to failure. However, the real failure is when we don’t dare to try in the first place. Things aren’t always going to pan out the way you want. That’s just the reality of it and needs to be accepted. So, if you’re really afraid of failing, make a move. And if you don’t succeed there are two things you gained from the experience:

  1. You’ve learned what you can do differently, and
  2. You get to try again.
  • Being yourself

A great philosopher by the name of Dr. Seuss once said, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” Dr. Seuss knew what he was talking about. There is no need to be anything or anyone other than you. So embrace it! Inside and out. Flaws and all. Who you are is absolutely enough.

Perfection is safe and that’s the seductive part about it. You don’t have to be perfect to be loved or liked; or to create, grow and maintain healthy relationships. Give yourself a break and be yourself. Your perfectly imperfect self and that is perfectly fine. If you make a mistake, good! You learned something. Now you can get up and try again.

After I noticed my pattern of people pleasing and how that affected me I made a pledge. And that pledge is to give myself permission to be human and to honor me by not allowing the fear of failure and disappointment (and not beating myself up about it if things don’t go the way I want them to) keep me from doing what I want to do. Being who I’m supposed to be—myself and loving it knowing that’s just enough.

Do I have setbacks? Hell yeah. Are my setbacks as bad as they used to be? Hell no. And now I’m much more at peace than I was before.

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The Importance of Doing Nothing

Four-thirty mornings, full time job, grad assistant and student. Then there’s doing work around the house, exercising, and trying to maintain a social life. Ay-yi-yi! It seems like every hour of the day I’m doing something—except rest.

So today, I took the pleasure of doing absolutely nothing other than writing this blog post. My day consisted of waking up at 11 in the morning, eating breakfast and watching Zootopia (twice) with my mom and sister. I must say it feels good to not worry about what needs to get done and giving my brain and body a break. In today’s society, “doing nothing” is viewed as counterproductive and lazy, but it’s much more beneficial than we think:

  • It can boost creativity. Earlier today, my sister was telling me that she feels more creative when she’s bored doing nothing. Ironically, studies have shown that when people are bored they find interesting ways to stop their boredom—hence, allowing those creative juices to flow.
  • It allows you to face thoughts and feelings you’re avoiding. When you’re always busy, it can be used as a defense mechanism from confronting thoughts and feelings that bring and can keep us down.
  • Our brains can relax. The brain is dependent on downtime, so it can recharge, process data we take in, support our memory and learning. However, by the expectation of “doing more,” our brain is denied this need.
  • Strengthens our nervous system. Constantly doing something adds stress on our nervous system. As the nervous system continues to be over exerted and pushed to fatigue it can lead to health problems. For optimal health and healing, we need to give our nervous system time to recover and restore its energy.

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Taking time out to do nothing can be a challenging thing to do at first (that applies to me too), but it’s definitely one of the best things to do for your mind, body and soul. So, I encourage you to carve out some “do nothing” time and do just that, nothing.

 

Making the Best Out of ANY Situation

Have you ever been faced with a situation (big or small) that you perceive to be negative or can spiral into something negative? That was me a few weeks ago—Halloween weekend to be exact. I’ve already made an entire blog post on it discussing how a seemingly bad day becomes an amazing one, so I’m not going to go too much in detail. However, I will talk about how that experience relates to changing your thoughts and perception to be more positive.

On Halloween weekend, I met up with classmates at a restaurant to go over our group project. I drove all the way up north from the south suburbs for about an hour, only to realize that I forgot my license and money at home. Instantly, the critic in my head started blaming me for being irresponsible and I was for sure this day wasn’t going to get any better. However, I calmed myself and shifted my thoughts to be more compassionate and forgiving by reminding myself that I’m human and am going to make mistakes from time to time. Once I did that I proceeded to have a good day.

Another instance was later on when I went to a party that I was supposed to be going to with a friend. However, he cancelled. Feeling afraid, because I didn’t want to go by myself, I almost went home. But, I saw it as an opportunity to do something by myself and enjoy it, and that’s exactly what I did.

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In both of these situations I could’ve stayed upset and allowed them to ruin my day, but utilized my power of choice to make the best of the situations, and you can too! Here’s how:

  • Breathe and see a situation for what it is. Don’t attach any judgments, feelings or perceptions about what’s going on. Don’t blame anyone (including yourself) or anything for what occurs. I know it’s hard, but that’s the best way to make a clear and productive choice.
  • Believe that you can handle any situation. No problem, regardless of how hard, stressful or painful is too big to handle. Beliefs are the driving force to our thoughts, feelings, actions and reality. If you believe something is too big to overcome, you will stay stuck. Conversely, if you believe you can overcome anything, you will overcome everything.
  • Find the opportunity and keep a positive attitude. This situation is in front of you for a reason whether that’s in the form of a lesson or an action. And, it’s your duty to find out.
  • Be patient. It’s tempting to rush or cut corners when things aren’t going our way. But, stay level headed and embrace the situation. Don’t allow yourself to become anxious, frustrated and start complaining.
  • Turn to the power that’s greater than you. Trusting this power will motivate and empower you to weather the storm. You will believe that things shall pass and you’ll be a better and stronger person in the end.

You have the power to overcome any obstacle that comes your way. Remember to breathe and follow these steps. You can get through any and everything by seeing the best in it all.