I am here to admit to you that I can be a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to balancing life. Whew! That feels oddly hard to admit because I like to think I’m laid back, but it’s the truth that I try to be perfect in striking a balance in my life. I know many others can relate to wanting perfection. It’s normal to want things to be exactly right, but it can be detrimental to your and my success, happiness, and time management. I want to talk about being perfect.
Is there such a thing?
How do we identify it? Why do so many of us strive for it? This past week I have been trying to get back into my groove at work and at home after an awesome trip to Chicago. Change in schedule sets anybody off, but for reasons somewhat due to my mental illness it can really throw me off. It’s difficult for me to streamline back into my work/life dance because it takes my body some adjusting due to a lack of sleep, increased energy output after a lazy vacation, and time changes. Regardless, I have this craving for my life to be exactly in order as soon as I come back almost to prove to myself that my mental illness cannot get in the way of me living successfully – the house cleaned, food cooked, success at work, self-care on point, and the list goes on. But what happened last week was I put so much emphasis on getting everything right that I started to spread myself too thin and it left me feeling downright exhausted and anxious by the end of the week. When all I wanted to do was relax and unwind with my boyfriend on the weekend, my head started pounding and my mind started racing thinking of all of the things I should be doing because I felt so behind. Shout out to my boyfriend who continually reminds me how unimportant getting a chore done is compared to resting and recharging.
Perfectionism stems from insecurity
Striving for perfection comes in all shapes and sizes. I strive to be perfect at striking a balance between all the areas in my life – which I suppose can be helpful in motivating me but it also makes me anxious and self-critical when I don’t get it right. I believe I am such a perfectionist in this area because it’s an area I struggle with and feel self-conscious about. Growing up I was either all about school -spending hours on end studying with no time for friends, or I was socializing and spending all my time having fun with no discipline. Another example is some days, I clean obsessively. The next week the dishes are piled high and my dirty clothes are everywhere. So no, I am nowhere near perfect when it comes to this. And yes, overthinking how perfect I need to be hinders my finding balance. What I’m getting at is my perfectionist tendency stems from an insecurity of mine and I believe many others may find this to be true about themselves.
Perfection is all in our mind
What do you strive to be perfect at? Is it your hair? Is it your muscles? Is it your numbers at work? Is it the way you walk down the street? I’m wondering if it’s possible to define perfect. Perfect to you is likely not the same perfect to me. Perfect to a beggar is a far cry from perfect to a millionaire. We all have our own definitions of ‘perfect’, and therefore we must continually assess if our version of ‘perfect’ is a reality or something that we have created in our minds. If it’s something we have created in our minds, we are more than likely to be disappointed at our reality because it could never live up to that imagined something.
You are already perfect
A word to all my ladies and fellas out there who are concerned with perfection in looking a certain way – you are made the way you are made and that is that. Society likes to push ideas on us to make us feel insecure and buy their product to make us feel more secure. Nothing will make you feel more secure than accepting you for you. Thank God not everybody looks the same – life takes on so many forms for a reason. I used to think the perfect body was tall and thin. It would cause me great anxiety that I didn’t look this way. But that is not how I am made, and I have learned to embrace my curves and my shortness and I now love how different I am. My wish is that you too can embrace how perfectly different you look. And at the end of the day, our body is just our exterior form. Our interior is the most beautiful part of us.
Stop looking to the future
There are so many reasons to try to be perfect at something, but maybe it’s enough that you’re exactly where you’re at. Living in the present moment, moment by moment, is way sweeter than looking to the future and comparing yourself to that mind-made version of you. More than feeling sweeter, you will be more successful and your time better managed when you are unconcerned with perfection. There’s nothing wrong with setting goals, but it’s important that these goals are true to who you are and where you’re at in this moment. My sincere wish is that you can find it in you to say ‘see ya later’ to that made up perfect version of future you and realize how perfect you are right now, finding humor and acceptance in your flaws.
Everything will be okay as it is
Side note – I have now fully accepted my empty refrigerator and dirty floors. What I am certain of is that I am writing to you now which makes me happy and I have a full schedule of clients this week which I am excited about. I am starting this week without regrets knowing the rest will get done when it gets done. All is okay, and I am perfectly imperfect.