I read an article in Glamour recently about why we shouldn’t be so hung up with perfection and I could really relate to it. I felt it summed up our generation perfectly and showed why we should do what’s best for us and not everyone else. How many times have you trawled through your news feed on Facebook and wished you were on holiday in Australia or at that exclusive party? Sighing as yet another person gets engaged or falls pregnant. Sometimes it’s not even that we want this for ourselves, it’s just the fact that it makes us feel like we’ve failed. We worked hard, got that average job with the evil boss but there’s always something better out there.
It’s good to have goals but most of them are so unattainable like become the manager of this company or buying your dream home in the country, that we seem to focus only on what we don’t have instead of the good things. We judge ourselves on others ideals. If my friend is hosting drinks parties and travelling to Paris, why aren’t I? If this film says that the key to a relationship is staying up all night talking until dawn, shouldn’t that be what I should be doing?
The answer is no. I’d much rather sit in with a pizza and watch Game Of Thrones than host a dinner party for friends. I’d probably give them food poisoning anyway. Yes, I would like to go to Paris or even abroad but we have beaches here and I’ll go to these places in my own good time. I don’t stay up all night talking to my boyfriend either because funnily enough, I value my sleep and we can talk in the morning.
High standards have a high price. Just look at the woman in Glamour who was desperate to be supervisor where she worked at an advertising agency. However, when covering for her colleague on maternity leave, she noticed her stress levels soared, she missed direct contact with her clients and felt less fulfilled. It made her realise that her role was right for her personality and was much happier in her old position that when another management role came up, she didn’t apply for it. Recognising your skills and expertise helps to find your passions in life and pinpoint what makes you happy. What works for some people doesn’t work for others. That person who moved to London and has a top end job may not be as happy as you who commutes to London but is doing an internship to learn about something she loves.
So how do we stop ourselves from obsessing over perfection? Well, by not setting the bar so high and telling yourself to do an okay job of something, you are more likely to be satisfied with the results and not stress about doing it. Embrace the fact of ‘good enough’. Don’t think I could do better than them or I’d be better in this role but settle for what you’ve got. Studies show this obsession is what leads to anxiety and depression so give yourself a break. Don’t set your standards so high that you don’t try at all.
According to Glamour, it’s not about instant excellence but persistence. The people you cherish the most aren’t the most perfect ones but the people who have consistently been there for you. Be more positive and notice the little changes.