Oh hi October. I’m so glad you’re here. I’ve been eagerly waiting. It’s getting colder, I’m finding more jumpers in my online shopping basket than ever and it’s nearly Scorpio season (woo!).
So I originally wrote this post on my need for perfectionism a long time ago and decided to revisit it because of it’s unbelievable relevance right now. Being back at uni, writing two posts a week, juggling life and somewhere trying to find time to work on myself too – this is something I’ve been really struggling with recently.
The day I originally wrote this post, I was on a train home after changing in London, typing away on my Macbook and fuelling myself with a latte. I know, so productive and bloggery of me, right? The only thing is, it wasn’t glamorous at all.
I was wearing dirty mom jeans from Sainsbury’s that were only comfy because I bought them in a size too big and they could have seriously done with a belt. I had about 1,000 heavy bags to carry from an almost week long trip away. I was breaking out badly after running out of cleanser and I really needed to wash my overly dry shampooed hair. But perhaps worst of all, I was trying desperately not to cry because I had been charged a £50 fine that I definitely couldn’t afford because I forgot my rail card for the first time in forever.
So here’s my issue. For such an organised, clean, working to a schedule 24/7 person I make a hell of a lot of mistakes. And when I do, it triggers my anxiety and self doubt really badly.
I’m bad at remembering my meds sometimes even though I know how important they are to my physical and mental wellbeing. I always set alarms because I’m a serial napper, but often sleep through them when I’ve been up late finishing off things in an attempt to give myself less to worry about in the morning. I often text myself to send myself a reminder for the morning but end up opening the text as soon as it comes through. I also put things in a safe space only to forget which safe space I’ve actually chosen.
I meticulously plan every social occasion because I hate looking awkward. I am constantly updating my personal calendar complete with colour coordination to make things clear for myself. I feel uneasy if my posts are not scheduled at least a week or two in advance. I enjoy cleaning because cleanliness makes me calm. I’ll happily spend hours organising things into folders.
I meticulously organise my laptop to the extent where I waste time doing it. I spend hours editing my blog photos only to retake them because I’m just not happy with one tiny detail. I try desperately to fit a theme on my instagram but it never seems to work out right. I get so nervous to post things online because the desire for perfection runs through my veins.
I’m a textbook control freak. A real-life Monica Geller. I have a Pinterest board of kitchen hacks but I don’t have my own kitchen. My dream job is to get paid to organise. I constantly try to be one step ahead of myself because anything less than that is disastrous for me.
In short, I’m a perfectionist and it’s not good for me.
When I mess up, I am so disappointed with myself. Being organised is one of my biggest assets. Making these mistakes makes me feel stupid, because I’m trying so hard not to. My least favourite thing in the world is being made to feel dumb. Don’t get me wrong – I know I’m intelligent, cultured and can string a sentence together. I’m self-aware in every way. That’s why I hate that an occasional lapse can throw off all my positive, organised vibes.
That’s why having such high expectations for myself is toxic.
I think I stress myself out so much trying to be efficient and practically perfect in every way that I forget about the opportunity outside of my bubble. I struggle to remember how important it is to make mistakes, learn from them and to be as authentic as possible. And in a modern, digital world where being real is so rare – I’m striving to let my flaws shine through as much as I can.
Maybe I’ll never be a popular blogger or a powerful business woman, but that’s exactly what I want. Being a perfectionist, I fear that if I don’t follow through with all my little plans and routines, my mental wellbeing will suffer and hold me back from achieving. There’s a balance I’m still struggling to master.
I’m learning that whilst it’s a good thing to be as attentive to details as I am, being uncertain and not planning isn’t always an ultimate disaster. Instead, it sometimes creates wonderful spontaneous moments and generates original content. Real content produced by someone who doesn’t pretend to have her s**t together every single second of the day.
Are you like me? Do you put too much pressure on yourself and despair when you mess up? If you are –god – please let me know so we can start a support group!