Today kicks off the first post of my Motivation Monday series. This is something a lot of you have asked for so I am really excited to start 🙂 On the first Monday of each month, I’ll sharing a personal and motivational post to start off your month. This month I am sharing about the struggles of perfectionism and why it’s okay to not be perfect. Let’s start from the beginning. Perfection is something I have been struggling with my entire life. At school, I was always a straight A student, the homecoming queen, and was involved in sports, clubs, after-schools programs and student council. At home, I learned to play piano by ear, obsessed over my drawing skills and when I taught myself how to play guitar at 14, I practiced for eight hours a day…every day. I was always that person that was “good at everything.”
But there is one thing wrong with that statement….I am NOT good at everything. I’m terrible at most sports (volleyball, softball and golf included lol!), can’t play drums or anything with a mouthpiece as much as I would like to and wish my mind was just a bit more creative when it comes to art. I am not the size of a model nor the height of average person. My hair isn’t thick, luxurious and flowing in the wind. It rained on my wedding day. I can’t dance to save my life (my husband makes fun of my interpretive dancing skills ha!). I have a hard time socializing with people I just met. I’m bad at making decisions. In art class, my ceramics would always explode in the kiln or would turn out lopsided. I started three different MLM business and could never commit to any of them fully because I’m the absolute worst salesperson. These are facts. No one is perfect and we cannot be everything. We all have certain gifts that others may not have and that is okay because that is part of our purpose.
But then you throw social media in the mix and it makes things a little more difficult. Instagram is the world of perfection. Perfect homes, perfect clothes, perfect sunsets, perfect families, perfect people. Never before have I been caught up in this craziness, but last year I found myself comparing these aspects of my life with strangers on the internet from time to time and as someone that has always strived to be perfect in everything I do, I found this process exhausting and unattainable. I do not have the perfect family, friendships, home, body, clothing, etc and I cannot be the best at everything. There will always be someone that is better, faster, stronger, prettier, smarter and funnier and THAT’S OKAY. And many times (especially if you watch Instagram stories), you realize that the people behind those perfectly curated and edited photos that are living seemingly perfect lives are actually normal people like you and I. We build up an impression in our head of we “think” someone will be like just based on the way they look, the clothes they wear, where they live, and what they do when usually, this impression is so far from the truth.
I came to realization that no one is perfect. Not even the people that you “think” are perfect. People only want you to know the good and are reluctant to share the bad. Instagram is a highlight reel and often, is edited in ways that are pleasing to the perceiver’s eye….not because it’s real life, but many of us don’t see this and as a result, feel isolated and invalidated. Behind the social media facade, you don’t know how people are, what they do or how they live. People only show you what they want you to see and that’s why it’s important to realize that perfectionism is NOT REAL. The sooner you realize this, the better your life is going to be.
Constantly chasing perfectionism will make you sick, unhappy and hold you back from amazing opportunities that you can’t see when you are constantly looking down the same tunnel day after day. You aren’t able to learn, grow and evolve as a person because you are so worried about getting it right the first time and because we are so focused on the end result, many times we forget to enjoy the process. The thing about this is that it’s unattainable and although you are trying to achieve pure perfection, you are actually hindering yourself and setting yourself up for failure. Doing things multiple times is essential for growth. You can’t throw something away because you haven’t mastered it the very first time you tried it. That is insane! Practice is something you have to do constantly if you want to master something. We have all started from the same place of not knowing how to do something. The difference between those that are successful and those that aren’t is because they kept trying. They practiced and pushed forward although they “failed” again and again. It wasn’t perfect the first time, second time or even the twentieth time. Those that are expecting everything to fall into place the first time will keep moving around from opportunity to opportunity feeling disappointed, hopeless and dissatisfied….constantly thinking they are not good enough, when the reality is very much the opposite. If you are constantly stressed out, this is going to actually hold you back from achieving more, making your obsession with being perfect illogical. Many times, we are so worried about waiting for the perfect time to do something that we fail to do anything at all.
The biggest struggle of a perfectionist is feeling like you’ve failed if you haven’t executed everything perfectly. The thing is is that we can’t control everything that happens in our lives. There will be many, many times that circumstances are just out of our control and you have to implement plan B….and sometimes plan B works out in our favor even more. Perfectionist often feel that their work is never good enough. We are our own worst critics and rip ourselves apart in the every way imaginable. And for what? Because of some silly thought that if something doesn’t go according to OUR plan or fit into our perfect image, then we somehow fail? This goes back to comparison (I write more about this here and here). If we didn’t have anything to compare to, then we wouldn’t have this image that we are somehow imperfect. What does perfection look like anyway? If nothing is essentially perfect, then what is this image of perfection that we have created in our heads that we desperately strive for? This is a lie. You ARE good enough. You are pretty enough, fast enough, strong enough, funny enough and smart enough. You have skills that no one else possesses because they can’t do it like you can. You have special gifts that were only given specifically to you for a reason. If you don’t use those abilities, then who will?
Perfectionism isn’t all bad though. We are extremely detail oriented goal setters that give our best in everything we do. It’s the point when we let it run our life that it becomes an issue and this all boils down to mindset. You have to remind yourself that nothing is truly perfect and allow yourself to make mistakes. Give yourself permission to “fail” and try multiple times instead of only giving yourself one shot at something. Make realistic goals and don’t beat yourself up if it takes longer to get there or if you never even meet it at all. Remind yourself that you possess a unique set of skills that no one else has and that above all else, YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH. <3
I hope you loved this post and that it helped you in some way! Let me know your thoughts and if you love it, feel free to share <3
Also, don’t forget to enter the first giveaway on my Instagram! Londontown has been so generous to gift one of you $500 worth of product! Entering is super fast and simple 🙂 I have two more giveaways coming up tomorrow and Thursday so stay tuned!