Having a never ending list of to-do's and we "should" all over ourselves. I should be doing that... I should be hanging out with this person... I should be looking this way...

We put pressure on our kids because or kids are an extension of us. My child must always behave the correct way otherwise, “I must not be the perfect parent.”

We follow a strict diet perfectly but the second we fall off the wagon then that becomes three months of bad eating and poor exercise habits.

Having a never ending list of to-do’s and we “should” all over ourselves. I should be doing that… I should be hanging out with this person… I should be looking this way… Brene Brown, who talks a lot about perfectionism and shame says, “Perfectionism causes us to take fat out of our ass and put it in our cheeks…” Figure that out.

An epidemic that is literally taking over the world. Whether it’s coming from seeing social media where we are looking at others “highlight reels” and feeling like we need to live as great and perfect life as they seem to be living. Or it’s feeling pressure to be the Pinterest Mom, so that your 1 year old’s Birthday Party can have snacks and decorations that are all in theme. Although they are never going to remember it. It could involve thumbing through Men’s Fitness magazines and feeling like you must have a 6-pack in order to measure up. Whatever it is we are surrounded by pressure to be constantly be perfect. The way that it can play out in our lives we may not always consider.

Some of the ways it can manifest itself with our friends is having surface level conversations. We may actually be feeling stressed or insecure and rather than having authentic conversations we minimize our problems or marginalize our own thoughts and then we feel disconnected or lonely.

Another thing that can happen is feeling pressure to get perfect grades or do perfect on a project at work. We may end up procrastinating because of the pressure to be perfect and then we end not wanting to do it at all. This ends up creating the same thing we had fear about in the first place because we put it off and now don’t have the time to make it perfect.

So what happens is we end up comparing ourselves to other people and constantly feeling like we’re not good enough because “I need to be perfect” and if I am falling short of that then people wont accept me. Again creating the same situation that we’re afraid of.

We’ve all been in a room with someone who you can tell is faking it. She/He is trying so hard to be perfect that you can feel that it is not authentic. So when we get into that mode we actually stop ourselves from connecting with others. It’s exhausting to perform and be the perfect person in every area of your life.

So what we want to look at is getting rid of those driving forces of I’m not good enough, or I’m unacceptable or whatever it is that causes you to feel like you need to be perfect to prove to yourself that you are good enough.

At work we get our performance evaluation and we are told 100 things we do well and one area we could improve then we obsess about the one deficient area.

We also feel like we need to project a glossy Instagram perfect life. We buy into the idea of only sharing our highlight reel on social media without sharing the 3 weeks of laundry piled up behind the camera.

We can’t apologize and we can’t take criticism. If we are admitting that we did something wrong then we would have to admit to ourselves that we are not perfect.

Lindsay Sewall

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