As a fellow perfectionist, it is easy to get wrapped up in making sure life goes as planned...“practically perfect in every way.” Meanwhile, you may find yourself missing out on the things that matter most in life, further prompting you to lose sight of who you are as a person. I certainly went through this…in high school…in college…and it is a response that people struggle with their entire lives. Now don’t get me wrong, being a perfectionist can be an incredible thing–you have the drive to make every aspect of your life perfect–but it is the moment when it starts eating away at you that throws your perceived “perfectness” ways off balance. Furthermore, you may find that the "perfect" standards that have been set are unattainable, not to say that you should not shoot for the stars. Always aim for your best, but often times you are the one that sets nearly impossible standards that you always seem to fall short of, sending you into an unhealthy, mentally exhausting cyclic pattern.
Through my own experiences, I have struggled to find an inner peace and understanding with my busy, hectic schedule, but there are simple, attainable alterations to your standards that you can apply to your life that will have huge overall impacts on your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. Sitting down and keeping stock of "what you have in the bank," or rather the things that keep you going and drive you to get up each morning can make you realize how much more you can, and will, enjoy life. We make mental lists and dwell on so many things that do not in fact matter. Give yourself a pep talk. Every time you set a standard for yourself, positive or negative, jot them down. Write them on your phone or start a journal. Now separate these standards into positive standards and negative ones. Which ones make you feel good? Which ones do you think you need to put onto yourself, but in fact do not. Which are required standards due to your current situation (ie. I must make Dean's List to keep my scholarship, so I may attend school)? What is the ratio between the positives and the negatives? Are there more negatives than you thought? Which ones can be changed?
We have one life to live. You have to find ways to enjoy every moment and live in the present to enjoy this incredible thing we call life. I have found that much of my perfectionism has been due to fear, feelings of insecurity, of both myself and my goals, but if we define, discuss, and alter our current ways, we might just be able to find that spark that got you to where you are today. Grasp this, and let its flame burn...lighting your path to your next chapter.
How will you approach tomorrow?