How Does One Tackle The Delusion That Perfection Is? Yes, Self Love!

Have you ever had the feeling that you don’t seem to be doing good enough? I hear you, and it’s completely okay to feel that way because that’s how our mind works.

A lot of problems in our society have arisen because we have been taught to be perfect while growing up.

We all tend to think we are not good enough, but here’s the thing—we’re not, and no one is. And no one can ever be. In fact, even the most profound celebrity you watch on television isn’t perfect. That’s why I say that the word “perfection” is just overrated. 

If somebody claims to be the “most perfect person,” then trust me that person is not only setting unrealistic and destructive standards for themselves, but also for those around them.

Yesterday, I was having a conversation with a dear friend of mine regarding the pressure to be perfect or to be the best.

From a very young age, we’ve been trying our best to be perfect. We become people-pleasers, for example, participating in the battle to be the favourite student or the favourite child. Haven’t we all done it? Instead of respecting and loving ourselves, we tend to become the person we don’t imagine ourselves to be. Don’t we become the type of person that we don’t know who the hell we are? 

Perfection seems to be everywhere we go or look; we see perfect people, perfect talk, perfect clothes, perfect life, perfect career, perfect partner, and perfect attitude.

There is always a constant pressure to be perfect in anything or everything we do because we’re surrounded by “perfection.” But you know what? All that is crap! 

We should be quite aware by now that with the ever-growing presence of social media, there is, and will always be, a silent competition on who posts what? Who’s able to attract more reactions or followers with their posts? Those attractive posts can be of people’s perfect dates, lavish holidaying, high-brand shopping, “my perfect life” moment (which I am pretty certain isn’t), etc.

Do you know what the problem is: we’re bloody humans, and we can’t be perfect. Try harder, but I bet you can’t. It is a completely unattainable goal that’s only going to lead to nothing but disappointment. 

Today’s generation wants to copy what the other person is doing. Every girl wants to look like Kim Kardashian or Kylie Jenner. Why can’t we just be original? 

Love Who You Are, And See How It All Begins To Change

Remember everything changes the instant you begin to accept yourself. You’re not born to please anyone. Don’t set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.

A tile saying "love your self".
You’re not born to please anyone. Don’t set yourself on fire to keep other people warm. Photo credits: Flickr/DonnaHollywood

Now, I am not saying that I had never strived for perfection. I had and even now, somehow, I still try to. I feel like over the years I was so insecure about everything, and mostly about myself that it started affecting my mental health. Five years back, I was a cheerful and bubbly girl who liked socialising. I wasn’t scared of anything, I was a daredevil.

I was referred to as the smartest kid and beauty with brain. Learning all these things about myself helped me build confidence to achieve more and be praised more. And that’s how I started to make sure that whatever decision or action I do should be perfect.

But little did I know that this word made up of seven letters ‘Perfect’ is going to eat me from within. The girl who had no issue being around crowds or to be on stage and deliver a speech, slowly began to have panic and anxiety attacks. And I won’t lie, I am still going through mental problems, but I am very thankful to some people who have loved me and who were there with me when I was in my worst phase.

I’ve found that if we’re too immersed in our quest for perfection, we will only end up disappointed and unsatisfied all our lives. Let me just take one example now:

You see a very pretty looking girl on the street with perfect hair colour and hairstyle. Now you wonder, why can’t I have that perfect hair. You make an appointment for a salon. You go there the next day, get a new colour and haircut. The stylist gives you the mirror to have one final look, but guess what? It turns out you look like Princess Fiona.

Now you are disappointed and sad about wasting so much money for that look that you saw on the street yesterday. What have you achieved? Nothing.

Apparently, a lot of problems in our society have arisen because we have been taught to be perfect while growing up. The pressure to have a perfect job; the pressure to get married; the pressure to be flawless.

Below are some tactics that I have learnt to tackle perfectionist behaviour:

Having ‘Me-Time’

It has definitely resulted in a lot of changes within myself. I understand a lot of people find it boring and depressing, they think that having some “me” time is all about chilling, watching Netflix and surfing through the Internet. But for me, it is quite the opposite. As a working professional, I don’t usually get time for myself. Most of the time I am either at work or caught up with my personal chores. And that’s the reason I appreciate my alone time.

I try to find and question myself. I ask myself about what I have achieved over the past few days? I meditate and most importantly I explore cafes around the city. All those alone times have made me realize that I don’t always need a company or another person to add meaning to my existence. Blocking out everyday distractions have led me to greater insights into my inner world and always made me deeply and genuinely happy.

Reading Books

Image for representation only.

Books have always been my best friends. If I’ll ever be given a choice to choose between a handbag and books, I would always choose books. They have played a significant role in my life. It has become a key that has opened the door to many good and positive things in my life.

Books just take me to another world where I don’t have to worry about other people’s opinion. So, I recommend you guys to read because there is no friend as loyal as a book.

Journaling

I started journaling when I was in the lowest point of my life and from that day onwards it has become a habit that became an integral part of my life. Writing a few words daily, though it may be on a piece of paper or the app that I have installed in my smartphone, has kept me calm and a chance to get to know me better about what really makes me happy and confident.

Some days when I am all jumbled up from the inside, I take some time to jot down my thoughts and emotions and guess what?

It has helped me to communicate with my inner world.

A Positive Relationship

It is the greatest measure of long-term happiness. I have come to realize it and that’s the reason I can’t tolerate the pessimistic people around me. Throughout my career and life, I’ve come across all sorts of negative influencers. These people are so twisted that they only focus on people’s bad things. These are the sort of people who roll their eyes and can’t stand when other people are happy, which is extremely wrong!

So, if you are one of those negative people, I’m telling you to stop doing it. Positivity is really necessary and that’s why I have only positive people around me who cherish and appreciate the best of me. The world we live in is quite a dark, cruel and lonely place, so only hang out with people who celebrate who you are.

Let me tell you guys about the story of a well-known brand in India and how they are playing with the mind of young Indian women by portraying that having brown skin is unacceptable while having fair skin is praiseworthy in the society.

India’s Obsession With Perfection-Fair Skin Cosmetics

It’s unquestionable that fair skin is considered as an asset and dark skin as taboo in India.

Growing up in India, I always found my mother putting cream on her face from a glossy pink packaging, which was popularly known as “Fair & Lovely,” a skin whitening cream sold by Unilever in many Asian and African countries, particularly in India.

It is indeed doing well; it’s a brand that’s stable. It is, however, not doing well, and I want to demonstrate its negative implications for public welfare. At first, I couldn’t fathom the reason for putting the cream as it claims to offer dramatic whitening results in six weeks.

Then I saw the ad for the cream, where it displays one face six times, in an ever-whitening progression, and contains ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos of a woman who used the product. I was baffled by the ad. There is no denying that having fairer skin is aspirational for many Indian women.

It’s unquestionable that fair skin is considered as an asset and dark skin as taboo in India. For years, our society neglected women with dark skin. They have faced problems when it comes to finding jobs, getting married and being accepted by society in general.

Yet, I don’t think that an advertisement should express any sort of bigotry due to skin colour and I firmly condemn whatever message the brand is seeking to deliver. I’ve heard horrifying stories of girls, during my high school time, who deliberately applied or injected themselves with unregulated chemicals to attain a fairer skin.

It’s just not Fair & Lovely that has made racists advertisements. Another recent controversial ad is by Clean & Dry where the product emphasises how bleaching your genitalia will make your husband love you more, which is absolute bullshit.

Don’t let someone bring you down. You are your own masterpiece, enchanting beauty and an extraordinary work of God!

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