Happy Friday bloggy friends! So the title of this post pretty much says it all. It is TRUE..
Your Life Will Change When You Realize "Perfect" is Overrated.
I will say it again, everything changes when you realize that those idealistic, perfect visions of yourself and of your work and everything in between are really just illusions. Perfect rarely happens. And when it does, you stop and think. Hey, this isn't really all that great. I want to go back to me. A little messy, a little undone, a little silly, a little awkward, a little different.
And yes I have a story to go along with today's little chat .. and a video link I really hope you check out!!..
Later in the post.. these cups.
But first the chat..
So I am a long time recovering perfectionist. I actually told that to my Uber driver the other day when he asked me what I wanted to improve in my life. (Yes, Uber drivers now double as therapists in case you were wondering.) And I told him I was a "recovering perfectionist." He paused and asked me what in the world that meant. I was stunned that he didn't get it. I mean in today's world of Instagram and Photoshop and filters.. Maybe it is a girl thing? No, I know guys who struggle too. Or maybe anyone who isn't a perfectionist just doesn't understand why so many people stress themselves out over trying to be THE BEST they can be. 'What's that all about?' They say in a calm, cool, collected voice.
I want a little more of that attitude in my self talk. Perfect, who?
Well I didn't get into this topic too deeply with MrUberDriver. But I will with you guys. I used to be an aching perfectionist, but never really thought it was a bad thing. In fact, it was good for me! Perfectionism served me well in our modern day world! It helped me get A's in high school and college, excel in extra curricular activities, in sports and with my friends. It helped me learn how to do my makeup and hair, "perfectly" in my view, and figure out how to eat my best and work out. And a lot of that stuff is great!
..But there is a fine line between wanting the actual best circumstances for yourself, your work, your body and wanting an extreme, incredibly hard to attain state of perfect. And usually, with a perfectionist, there is always room for improvement. The next level. A never ending cycle of beating your personal best.
In short, it is all incredibly exhausting on your mind, body and spirit.
The sign for me of and unhealthy standard of approval for myself was when if I didn't look perfect, get the A, win, succeed, get the job, whatever and felt REALLY bad about myself because of it. I was uncomfortable if things were not my vision of "the best." Aka perfect. If I failed, I felt bad. When really, failure is a very important part of life.
Failing is good!
If you haven't already... watch the video by Oprah at the bottom of this post. It is awesome!
Life isn't perfect. People are not perfect. In fact, as this post title suggests, perfection .. straight A's, perfect makeup, perfect clothes, perfect relationships, perfect looks are absolutely overrated.
Now, sure you may want to have the face of a supermodel and a bank account like George Lucas, but those things do not bring happiness. Ask anyone who has ever had "perfect" beauty, money, success. Many of them struggle with, "Why do I have all this, but feel unhappy sometimes?"
The reason is because happiness is not about perfection. It is about loving your imperfections and the challenges and messiness of your life. A blank white canvas vs a splattering of rainbow colors. I choose the messy rainbow, please!
If only I had known all that in my twenties, I would have been a much happier person.
"Perfect" may look amazing from the outside, but from the inside it can start to feel like a box. A small, lonely box that you put yourself and your life in. You have to fit inside that box of perfect. And while you may look amazing and successful to others .. inside you feel trapped. And your box will keep you from living your life because you are afraid if rejection and more tragic: failure. And failure doesn't mean an "F" grade or losing a job. It can simply mean disappointing yourself, or others.
So ya, this video by Oprah, watch it!
Anyways, perfectionism takes all sorts of shapes and strengths. You may only feel it in one part of your life, like your body or your job. And you may be totally ok with little bits of it, or embrace it. And really, that's probably every person reading this. It really isn't about smashing all perfectionism, but learning to balance the parts of it that that make you unhappy.
Like for me, I still struggle with it in my work. I find the work life balance to be a challenge because I want to do it all with my career. But I am learning to embrace balance. Every day I learn something new about myself and what truly makes me happy in life. And more and more, all that fuss and "perfectness" does not.
So the story! So for MONTHS now I have been avoiding doing videos on my Facebook page for my other brand, FindingVegan.com. There are almost a million likes to that page, and so many people who see each post -- much more than on my blog facebook page! So I kept saying, I will only post a PERFECT video. When I have time to do it..
Well months passed and no videos.
Until yesterday, I wrote something in a Facebook group and my blogger friend VeganRicha encouraged me to do a video. I stopped, closed my computer and as the sun was setting, the day's sunlight fading away, I rushed to do a video of something simple: Almond Butter Cups.
I whipped out the video in about an hour and then edited the video that night. The video is not in any way "perfect" in the standard I wanted and had envisioned in my mind. But you know what..
Having an imperfect achievement is way better than having a perfect... nothing.
So I did it! I posted the video onto the Facebook page. I feel great that I did it.
Do I Sound Ridiculous or Are You In This With Me? My whole story may sound silly to you, but that is what perfectionism is all about. It looks SO silly to an outsider, but it is an inner struggle for the person going through it...
"Do I look fat in this?" .... 'No! You are crazy"
"I got an A-, that is awful!" ..... "What, you are nuts, that is great!"
"I came in second in the race!!" .... "But you beat all those other people and did amazing! I can't even run one lap that fast!"
"I just ate two pieces of cake. Omg." .... "You are insane. You are a healthy person and everyone can treat themselves."
"Look at that perfect couple! Why can't that be us?" .... "We love each other and that's the best feeling in the world."
"This painting looks like crap!" .... "Um, it is gorgeous... and I can't even do stick drawings."
Perfect is all about perspective. So change your perspective to realize that perfect is overrated and what is truly beautiful and magical and special is...
Messiness with passion.
Loving your body every darn day because it is so miraculous.
Working out because it keeps you strong, not to change your body shape.
Eating to fuel your body, bot to deprive it.
Working hard because you are so freaking creative and talented and intelligent, not to be the perfect employee or entrepreneur.
Realizing your relationships will take work and go through rough patches, but true friends and loves will always rise to the top.
Laughter, loud and quiet, uncontrollable.
Staying in your PJs all day.
Happy faces and a happy feeling because gratitude for your life.
Being thankful for your home and the people in your life, no matter what.
Love, big and warm, constant and unpredictable.
Friendship, ridiculously awesome in every way, and yet always changing imperfectly.
Failure and learning from it.
Sadness and coming out of it.
And on and on and on.
My Video! So that is my little chat for today. To end, I would love love love if you check out the video I made! It is not perfect and the music is not the best, the cups were not fully hardened and kinda cracked, but ya know what, at least I did it. And the recipe is so yummy. So that makes it awesome. Perfection can literally stop you in your tracks for months, years even, from getting stuff done -- so one foot in and here it went. Oh and Sochi cat makes a little cameo in the video .. totally not the usual recipe video thing, but everything is better with a kitty cat, right?
And I will end with my imperfect spirit animal... Pumpkin the Raccoon. She isn't a dog or cat. She is an imperfect house pet on most people's terms.. and that makes her so darn magical. :)