We are constantly being fed media images of perfect bodies, perfect families, perfect wardrobes, perfect jobs and so on. This tricks us into accepting that we need to be perfect in this world at all times. But very few of us are ever perfect, and even if people look perfect on the outside, we all know that no one really knows what is actually going on behind the scenes. So don’t always trust what you see on Instagram and Facebook. Instead, a crucial part of real happiness is learning to accept being good enough.
Most of Top Life Coach Carole Ann Rice’s work focuses on making people the best versions of themselves. And with that in mind, today she shares 5 reasons why perfectionism is bad for you, and why you should steer clear of unrealistic standards.
1. Accepting imperfection makes you happier
When we let go of the stereotypical ideas of perfection and get real, we immediately start to feel a lot happier. You’ll be relieved when you realise it’s totally okay to give up on perfection. There will always be someone who you think has more, or who is better than you, no matter how much greatness life gives you. With the constant pressure around us, especially from the media, we can end up endlessly comparing ourselves to others ‑ and when we compare, we despair.
2. Perfectionism wastes your time and energy
Often people who are constantly worried about perfectionism waste a lot of time sweating the small stuff, continually worrying about saying or doing the wrong thing. This is not a positive motivator ‑ it’s exhausting and motivation driven by shame and self‑loathing. So, rather than being perfect, aim for personal progress instead of perfect results, and don’t punish yourself at every turn.
3. Keep your relationships in perspective
From casual friendships to long lasting marriages, there’s no such thing as a ‟perfect” relationship. As long as you’re not a toxic friend, it’s perfectly normal to have different friendships with different people, and they’ll naturally change and shift overtime. And as for romantic relationships, if you can’t accept compromise and be pragmatic, you won’t be happy for long.
4. Don’t obsess over the state of your sex life
Today many have incredibly unrealistic expectations of what sex is like and how we should be having it. It isn’t reasonable or necessary to look and feel amazing 100% of the time; real intimacy is about working out what suits both partners and making sure you’re both content. Thats what’ll make you happy in the long run. You want to feel comfortable with your partner and vice versa.
5. Don’t be a competitive parent
We’ve never been as neurotic about bringing up children as we are now. We didn’t use to be expected to entertain children 24/7, and we weren’t obliged to take care over very tiny details of a child’s day. We need to go back to trusting our instincts as parents and stop endlessly comparing ourselves to what looks like perfection on Instagram. Again, you don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors, or how those mommys and families really feel. Focus on what works for you and your kids alone.