I hope you have been enjoying this lovely spring weather. I must say I am loving the sunshine and fresh air!
Ok, so, some time ago I posted a photo of myself smiling on social media. I know that is not a big deal as most photos of me on social media are of me smiling.
But, along with the photo I posted a short encouragement about being “perfectly imperfect.”
I made reference to my imperfect smile because my teeth are not quite straight. (FYI I am totally ok with my teeth and my smile – I was saying how I used to hate smiling for photos because I was very self-conscious about my teeth.)
I used the photo to encourage people that life is perfectly imperfect and to smile anyway.
There were lots of lovely comments then posted back to me complimenting me on my smile but there was another comment by a good friend of mine which said – Imperfect by whose standards??
That question right there is a great question!
You see, we are all imperfect. Sorry if this is just burst your bubble.
Yet, we often get caught in this vicious cycle of striving for perfection and never ever reach it.
And because we are aiming for something that is not even achievable, we fall into this state of disappointment and then the negative self-talk & mind games begin!
Now let me be very clear – I am not talking about setting goals and working hard to achieve them. I am not talking about celebrating successes & the wins in life as I believe these things are very important.
I encourage you to set goals and work hard to achieve them. I believe motivation and success is a great thing, just be prepared for the imperfections, the knock downs & failures along the path to success. In fact imperfection, knock downs & failures are actually vital to our growth.
What I am talking about here is the expectation that came from somewhere that we need to have the perfect body, the perfect hair style, perfect eyebrows, the perfect pout, the perfect outfit, the perfect partner, the perfect kids, the perfect kitchen, the perfect work life balance, the perfectly presented dinner on the table, the perfect holiday, the perfect pose, the perfect proposal, the perfect instagram post, the perfect this the perfect that…
People spend a whole lot of money to trying to be perfect. However when I ponder the comment my friend made, whose standards are we actually measuring our life by?
How is it we allow someone else’s perception of perfection to become our life measure?
Talking of measures…
Is our measure what we see on Facebook & Instagram? Lord help us if it is, however, sadly for many it is.
For the record I am ok with social media – really I am. This is not a social media rant as I use it promote and advertise my business and blogs but I don’t measure my life by other people’s posts and I don’t get down in the dumps because my reality doesn’t look like the lives that are portrayed on social media.
Is our measure the traditional media or the latest A List celebrity?
Magazines are constantly telling us we are too fat, too thin, too lonely, not doing enough exercise, not resting enough, resting too much & all on the same front cover. We are constantly told by celebrities what we should or should be doing, eating, saying or wearing.
Is our measure the journey of others?
It is easy to fall into the trap of trying to keep up with “Joneses”. If you are measuring your success in life based on someone else’s journey, then that is a dangerous measure. And it’s not to say anything bad of the people you are measuring your life against – I am all for celebrating the success of others. But if your reality is different to theirs then that it doesn’t make your life of any less value, just like it doesn’t make their life perfect.
Is our measure our own unrealistic expectations?
Perhaps life hasn’t quite turned out according to your perfectly written list. Your house doesn’t resemble the pages of Vogue Living, not to mention dinner didn’t come out looking like the perfect picture in the recipe book. Perhaps you have just had a baby a week ago and you can’t fit into your pre baby jeans like the celebrity you read about & your baby has not yet started sleeping through the night at 6 days old like you heard so and so’s baby did on the latest mummy blog.
Now, I am all for having healthy & realistic expectations. But I am here to tell you that life is perfectly imperfect so take a deep breath and take the pressure off yourself!
Perfection is an unrealistic expectation to place on you and on others. Life is not perfect and it is not meant to be perfect.
Ok, but hang on – does this mean we settle for less or does this mean we stop caring? Of course not!
Set goals, make plans and dream big…I simply want to encourage you to live free from the unrealistic expectation of perfection.
The weight of perfection is controlling, crippling and not at all life giving. So whatever life looks like, can you settle your heart right now and throw perfectionism out the window and start living your perfectly imperfect life!
For many who struggle with perfectionism you may actually benefit from literally opening your window, popping your head out the window and bid perfectionism farewell – I am not kidding. There have been many times I have opened my front door and told certain things to leave my house such as sickness and fear – perhaps you need to follow this example?
I hope this blog has encouraged you today & I would love to hear your thoughts.
If this blog has hit a sore spot, I would love to chat to you more about that too. I am sincerely aware of the struggles that surround a life of perfectionism and understand that it can be a journey to find freedom from the control of perfectionism – feel free to send me a private email.
Till next time though, remember that life is perfectly imperfect – smile anyway!