Most of us can find that we put too much pressure on ourselves. We place unrealistic expectations on our shoulders that we can’t always meet. Part of being human is understanding our limitations, even when we wish they didn’t exist. Society often says that we are only as valuable as our productivity, but that simply isn’t true.  Our value lies in our view of ourselves and knowing that sometimes we can’t play Superman in the real world, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of in any case. We have to prioritize ourselves or else we could face mental burnout.

So what can be done? 

When we endlessly chase perfection, we’re letting all of the best experiences pass us by. To ignore the great opportunities flying by is doing a disservice to only one person – ourselves. We are the ones holding ourselves to unattainable standards, rarely is it the people around us, as we strive for something that doesn’t exist: a perfect life.

While we may not find perfection in the life we lead, we can find happiness despite it, or, perhaps, because of it.

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  • A necessity in redefining perfection as something we can achieve is to acknowledge and accept our boundaries. If we force ourselves past our breaking point, it won’t lead to a positive outcome, rather the exact opposite. We will see ourselves losing the spark inside ourselves in search of something that doesn’t exist or isn’t realistically possible. No matter how hard we try, we can’t work miracles, and when we understand our limits, we can appropriately incorporate them into our future plans.
  • Many of us have to take a 3,000 foot view of the situations in front of us otherwise we get hung up on the details. We have to zoom out and break down seemingly insurmountable tasks into bite-size pieces. If we’re looking at the grand design, we’ll find ourselves stumbling as we watch others doing the same thing in a way that we decide is better. This very mindset will only send us into a spiral of inadequacy and won’t help our current situation. 
  • Another avenue we should be taking is to celebrate the accomplishments we do have along the way. Every success should be celebrated or, at the very least, appreciated as the victory that it is. Even if the accomplishments are smaller in comparison to what we originally pictured, they still deserve their moment in the spotlight. An accomplishment,
  • no matter how big or small, is worth recognition. If we ignore the progress we are making, we can lose sight of how well we are actually doing, despite it possibly not being on the scale we imagined previously.
  • Along the same lines, we have to stop criticizing our personal journeys. The negative voice in our heads that chimes in to remind us that some people may be doing more than us is inevitable. It jeers our faults back at us and compares us to others we view as superior. The trick is that we can’t let it determine our actions, or else it wins. If we rely on that voice, we are giving it power over us and discarding any good things awaiting us that are within our reach.

Perfectionism is debilitating at times. It toys with us and tries to prove that we are never doing enough. Only with self-awareness can we overcome the intense focus on what we deem as perfect. Every day, we need to be challenging the pressure we’re letting weigh us down in the name of non-existent perfection.