Happy: The New Perfect

Happy: The New Perfect

Perfect: a 7 letter word that should not exist.
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My name is Chandni Shroff, and I'm a recovering perfectionist. My entire life, I've been too hard on myself. It is not pressure from my family, friends or fellow peers that drives this ambition for success. Instead, it's a forced internal demand that incites this desire to be impeccable in every aspect of life.

I admit it -- I can be a somewhat of a control freak. But there is a difference between wanting to be in charge of a situation and in choosing to opt out of an opportunity due to perceived social pressures and performance anxiety. The feeling of failure can be so debilitating, and the notion that your best efforts may be too poor to showcase in public can have a detrimental effect on one's self-image. An important thing to realize is that the definition of failure is quite skewed in the mind of a perfectionist. For most people, success lies on a spectrum, and the terms poor, good, decent and great all have a different meaning. For a perfectionist, failure is anything below excellent. If it does not match the narrow set of ideal standards in their mind, then it is simply not good enough.

My perfectionism manifests itself in a dynamic manner. On one hand, I get anxiety in regards to performing tasks -- they must be completed in an impeccable fashion. However, it also presents the illusion that no task is too difficult, daunting or demanding. With every successful accomplishment, a perfectionist fools themselves into thinking they have an intrinsic ability to succeed. That's the thing about perfectionism: it always seems like it is within reach. My mind has tricked me into thinking I need to get the best grades, most awards, and highest honors; it is a vicious cycle that results in a spiral of anxiety, self-doubt and frustration when I fall short of these idealistic standards.

Striving for perfection is incapacitating, rarely attainable, and disheartening.

A perfectionist constantly compares themselves to others, works relentlessly to the core, and beats themselves up incessantly. Regardless of how well a situation may have gone, a perfectionist will constantly brood over what they could have done better.

The more I strive to be perfect, the less happy I become.

It's taken me a long time to come to the place I am now. I finally recognize that my issues of perfection stem from my mentality. Tendencies regarding perfection are driven by fear: fear of failure, fear of being judged. I know that it's going to be a struggle. Every single day I have to remind myself that it's OK not to be perfect. I'm working to change my outlook so that I can accept my flaws and become a better, happier version of the person I am. To anyone else struggling with perfectionism, here's my advice:

Strive for progress, rather than impeccability. Embrace your creativity and allow yourself to have new experiences. Let go of the need to be perfect and just be. Be kind to yourself, and be proud of who you are. Picture-perfect is just that: an illusion.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.utica.edu/student-blogs/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/The-Perfectionist-Scale-3.jpg

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Injuries Are Hard, But It's Harder With A Long Healing Process

It's longer than I anticipated, and it's even harder to deal with than I expected.

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On January 3, 2019, I took a fall on some ice. After an ambulance ride to the hospital and having X-ray's done it was revealed that I had a compression fracture in my lower spine. It was described to me as saying that the spine is sort of liked a bunch of marshmallow shaped bones. I fell and landed so hard that I squished one of my marshmallows. It was quite painful as you can imagine.

The only thing I could do was wear a back brace throughout the day and rest, waiting for it to heal. The predicted time frame for this heal was three months. At first, it was kind of nice. Just relaxing and catching up on some shows and movies, plus with the pain doing nothing obviously felt the best. After a couple of weeks, it started to get annoying.

I used to work at a daycare. So going from being on my feet and chasing little ones around all day to nothing was a huge adjustment for me. Once I was able to do a bit more walking and was able to drive again it was frustrating cause I had nowhere to go and nothing to do. Let alone any money to do anything anyway as workman's compensation only pays so much of what you would normally be earning.

My family and friends are working and I'm left alone and bored. I don't even have a hobby to fall back on to keep me busy. I'm just stuck in my house slowly but surely feeling like I'm losing my mind. It gives me way too much time to think which just makes me feel crazier.

When I was told that my injury was getting worse at my last appointment I wanted to scream. It meant another few months stuck in my brace doing nothing. If I get any worse then we are talking about the surgery which means a lot of pain again and an even longer time stuck doing nothing.

Injuries that take a long time to heal are hard to deal with. You feel like you should and could be doing more, but know that if you do you aren't going to heal the right way. I have to be careful with bending, I can't lift anything too heavy and I have to wear my brace all the time which is super annoying and something I just want to be out of already.

I just want to get back to my life. I'm tired of feeling so useless and stuck.

It's all about patience when it comes to the healing process, and my patience is really starting to wear thin.

For those of you who are healthy, enjoy it. Be thankful that you aren't stuck doing nothing. I wrote an article not too long ago about dealing with back injuries and how much you don't realize what your back really does for you. I'm in this tough position where not only am I bored and waiting for this to heal, but I also really can't do anything.

Waiting is hard enough. Waiting several months just feels torturous at this point. Anyone who has to wait for injuries to heal and are hating it, I feel you. I understand the struggle. All I can hope is that once my time has come where I'm finally free of these restrictions, I can get to being myself again.

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