Life isn't perfect. It's messy...You don't have to be perfect.
What if we said that ourselves every day? What if we surrounded ourselves with people who confirmed this statement, that we didn't have to be perfect? I'm pretty sure that I'm my worst enemy in this department. I don't think anyone in my life expects me to be perfect. The only one who expects perfection is me. And this desperate search for perfection comes at a cost. It has a high price of perpetual dissatisfaction.
Identifying the problem is the first step! Now that I know that I am always striving to be perfect and that I deep down believe I will someday have a perfect life (which doesn't happen to anyone), it's time to face this problem head-on. No more perfectionism in my life! Perfectionism -- no big surprise -- causes a lot of anxiety. I don't want that kind of anxiety in my life and - YAY! - this is something I can control. I can choose not to be a perfectionist. Instead, I can choose to be positive.
6 Ways To Stop Being Perfect and Start Being Happy
Stop criticizing and judging.
This, of course, is a HUGE one. If you are able to stop judging yourself and others, you're a lot less likely to be in perfection mode. Perfection comes from the idea that everything has to be a certain way. But who says it has to be that way? Who says you have to look a certain way or dress a certain way? Who says you have to act this way or that way? Okay, yes, we all live in societies and sub-societies that have certain standards, but we don't always have to live up to those standards. And we can make our own standards!
Learn to go with the flow.
Man, oh, man this is a hard one for me! I've never, ever been a go-with-the-flow kinda girl. I like to be in control, holding the reigns, setting the pace. I don't like to go along for the ride or just sit back and relax. But, when it comes to battling perfectionism, learning to just chill is REALLY important. Life is unpredictable. There are going to be unexpected twists and turns and being able to deal with changes is essential to living a positive life. We can't control everything and this is something I really, really need to work on reminding myself every day.
Know that everything has a reason.
Many of you might not be down with this idea, but I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. Even the most horrific, awful things in my life have taught me something, have made me the person I am today. It's not easy to remember this when dealing with a crisis or heartbreak, but it's so important to remember that life is what it is. Some things are out of our control and we just have to realize that someday the reason for what happens will be explained. I do my best to learn from every mistake, every bad situation, and all of these little lessons have added up to make me the person I am right now.
Look at the big picture of life.
I try to ask myself this every time I'm freaking about something not being as perfect as I would like it to be: Will this matter in five months? Five years? Usually the answers to these questions are "NO!" Most of the things I get myself all worked up about don't really impact my life in the long run. Emotional wounds always heal with time. Though I might be panicky and worried right now, in a few days, weeks, months, or years, I won't be worried about it anymore. When I find that I'm stressing about something small (which I do more often than I should), I need to remind myself to look at the big picture and pose the questions: "How important is this? Is it really worth all of the stress and anxiety?"
Take time for a time out.
Sometimes the best thing to do when I'm feeling like nothing is going the way I want it to go is to take a time out. Removing myself from a situation can be the best way to get a fresh perspective on it. When I'm working hard to get something perfect -- whether it be an outfit for a night out, a blog post, or a serious work-related task -- it's hard for me to step away. I'm in a zone and I'm focused and I don't want to waste any time. However, whenever I force myself to pull away from what I'm doing, I find that I usually come back with fresh ideas and a new perspective which helps me not to be so perfection-driven.
Appreciate what's working for you.
This goes back to the idea I talk about a lot - loving yourself. You most likely have a lot of great things going on and you don't even notice these things when you're focused on making everything perfect. When I'm seeking perfection, I don't take time to realize what's good in my life and my level of gratitude seems to be a lot lower. It's really important to realize what is awesome about your life and to be grateful for all of the things/people/experiences in it. Doing this will make perfection seem a lot less necessary.
Those of you who aren't perfectionists might not really understand what a burden it can be to always be striving for this unobtainable goal. As I said above, there is no such thing as a perfect life. You might have a great life. You might have a happy life. But no one -- no matter how hard he or she tries -- will have a perfect life. This is a fact I must accept and embrace. Knowing that life will never be perfect, that I will never be perfect, will take a lot of the pressure off. If you know you can't be perfect, you have to settle for being the best you can be. And, right now, that sounds pretty good to me.
Do you battle with perfectionism?
What advice would you add to what's written here?