I suppose this post sort of follows on from my post The Pursuit of Balance. I just wanted to talk about our ideas of perfection, and how we can put a lot of pressure on ourselves to achieve this. I decided to bring this up because recently I haven’t been feeling quite so good about myself. I personally set myself quite high standards, but this can sometimes be unrealistic and can result in me feeling like a failure. My New Year’s Resolutions included daily meditation, early bedtime and to spend less time on screens.
I’m going to be honest with you; I don’t always manage to do my meditation every day, I’m not always in bed by the time I should be, I often spend too much time on screens. Because I’m not perfect, and I need to accept this. I think we all do. No one should feel like a failure because they can’t do everything as they think it should be.
I suppose this is one of the downsides of social media – we forget that most people only choose to post their best moments and that we don’t see their worst moments. I think being far from perfection is just part of being human. We’re not machines, and we don’t act like them – our imperfections are perfectly normal.
This doesn’t mean that I won’t try and change these things; of course I will. I try to learn from my mistakes, but sometimes this isn’t always easy, and rather than punishing myself for “failing” to do something as I want to, I want to be able to take it in my stride. I want to pick myself back up, and think, “OK, what’s done is done. I’ll know what to do differently next time.” I’ve also learnt to accept other people’s imperfections, even when they get to me, because I can accept that we’re all humans, and we all have faults. How can I blame someone for their faults when I have my own faults?
I think what I’m trying to say that life is all about progress. It’s spent constantly trying to improve ourselves. Sometimes this is good, for example when I learn to do a new yoga pose. But sometimes it’s not so good – what if we’re focusing on trying to be the best version of ourselves to such an extent that we miss the moments that matter? What if we get so caught up in our pursuit of perfection that we forget to enjoy ourselves? In our society we put immense pressure on ourselves and on each other to constantly be trying to better ourselves – but as my mother put it: when is good good enough?
I feel happiest when I notice little things, like blue skies, sunshine, birds singing, beautiful colours and the breeze in my hair. These things make me think of freedom, and remind me that I’m lucky to have this freedom.
Of course it feels good when you do something well, and bad when it doesn’t go well. One of my major faults is failing to see the big picture and get things in perspective. Because most of the time, I think we do well. One setback is just ONE setback. I would like to become a more positive person. I know that being surrounded my negativity doesn’t just drain me, but it drains others around me too. I try to surround myself with the positive things; one of the reasons I love fitness and healthy food is because it feels good to nourish myself.
I think part of this progress of coming to terms with our imperfections is being able to acknowledge them. It’s an achievement when you realise something is causing you stress, and it’s an even bigger achievement when you work out how to overcome this stress. For me, this would be school. I’m finding school extremely overwhelming and challenging at the moment, and I’m sad to say that I’m really not enjoying it. I’m trying to make the most of it and focus on the positives – I’m lucky to receive an education and I’m lucky that I’m able to see my friends every day, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t struggling at all. I’m not working as hard as I have done because I’m more balanced than I have been. Maybe my grades won’t be as good, but I’m a happier person and much less stressed about academia and having to aim for the highest grades.
I hope I haven’t rambled on for too long, but one of the reasons I love to blog is because it allows me to express my thoughts and feelings – it’s a way of release for me. Thank you for reading, and please feel free to share your thoughts below.