‘You catch yourself constantly striving for more, but no matter how much you get, you never know if what you desire will help you become your best self or just drive you further down the dissatisfying road of perfectionism’ Dr. Ilene Cohen says, author of When It’s Never About You and Anxious for Answers.
The majority of people base their self-worth on external factors; money, awards, compliments and material stuff. Striving for perfection is working yourself to exhaustion in hopes that you’ll feel whole, complete or worthy. It’s piling on the emotions of guilt, burnout, and self-hate. It’s giving yourself expectations that you’d never expect from others. All in all, making you feel like you have to prove yourself constantly.
What we forget is that it’s okay to hurt for the dreams that didn’t work out. It’s okay to not have things figured out. Failure is not the best feeling in the world to have when you’re in it, but as people say – it’s the way to success. Other people’s successes are more visible to us, and their failures just become invisible as they don’t draw attention to them – but they still happen.
Dr Cohen suggests that you ‘Try to let go of whatever it is that’s holding you back from accepting who you are. You’ll probably realize that you aren’t what other people say you are. You aren’t your pain, your past, or your emotions’.
Focus on what you want rather than what you think is expected of you. As you become more aware of this, you’ll start knowing the next step to take and you’ll realise that no one has the answers. People who don’t feel good enough always look to others to make decisions for them. Own the fact that you know more about what’s right for you than anybody else!
Our perception becomes our reality. Creating a comfortable mindset that isn’t filled with unrealistic expectations will encourage you to a sense of wellbeing. Therefore, the first step to feeling like you’re enough is changing your mindset and old beliefs about yourself resulting from past experiences.
The easiest way to start changing your mind-set? Pull back on how much time you scroll through social media. Subconsciously, it’s the way we most often compare ourselves, but we forget about all those blank spaces in between the statuses and photos that would show people’s dirty laundry…
The next step? Be self-reliant. This doesn’t mean being single or not letting people help you, it just means start doing things for yourself. The more you do for yourself, the better you feel; the better you feel, the more confident you’ll become, and the less compelled you’ll feel to be ‘perfect’.
If you focus on progress rather than perfection, you’ll recognise how far you’ve come instead of how far you have left to go. What do they say? It’s about the journey, not the destination…