The holiday season is a stressful time of year. It’s stressful financially as you run around playing Santa for everyone you know. It’s stressful on your time as you go from holiday concert to holiday pageant to family pictures. It’s stressful emotionally as the days are shorter and colder and although you’d rather hibernate, you have so much to accomplish before Christmas. You have been scouring Pinterest for holiday decorating ideas and outfits for your children so things will look just right. You are only adding stress if you are attempting to do it all while also wanting everything to be perfect. What about letting go of perfection this holiday season? So what if you miss taking the kids to see Santa at the mall! So what if you don’t send out Christmas cards! So what if you don’t have time to bake 10 dozen cookies for the neighbors, teachers or your coworkers! There is no such thing as perfect. Perfection is a myth. It’s all in your head. No one is really paying attention to you. They are too busy managing their own stress and just trying to survive. I despise the phrase “practice makes perfect”. Practice does not make perfect, it makes better. We can strive to be better. We can work to be a better spouse, parents, worker bee, etc. But striving to look a certain way or perform a certain way only adds to your stress and encourages you to head to a destination that is not on the map.
Perfectionism can be toxic. It only adds to your stress. It encourages you to compare yourself to others. Perfectionism discourages you to be your authentic self. Trying to live a perfect life is not sustainable and usually leads to an increase of anxiety and feelings of unhappiness. Perfectionism holds us back from living our best life.
One of the wonderful things about being human is that we are flawed. We are allowed to make mistakes. Mistakes teach us valuable lessons and lead to self-improvement. Think about a time when you made what seemed like a huge mistake at the time. I’m confident you learned something from that situation; a lesson that sticks with you to this day. Sometimes we are worried about appearing flawed because people will judge us harshly for it. To this I respond with a question “Who are you surrounded by that does not accept all of you?”. Does your support system include family and friends that accept you. I have enough to worry about rather than focus on judging whether or not my friend buys organic produce for her children. I’m not impacted in anyway if my neighbor’s house is dusty. If the people around you behave in a way that has you feeling less than, then it’s time to make some new connections. I encourage you to surround yourself with people who are comfortable in their own skin and as a result accept you, warts and all.
Focus on what makes you happy . If making the bed doesn’t give you joy; don’t make it! Let go of the things that you are doing because you think you “should”. Let go of the idea that there is one way of doing something. Let go of the idea that things have to look just right. If you are waiting for things to be just so before you dive in, you’ll probably be waiting forever. Dive in and join life.
I am a mental health therapist practicing in Henderson, NV. I have found that most of the people that I work with have lost themselves on the road to success. A key component of my treatment approach is assisting people in rediscovering their passions and restoring balance to their lives. This blog contains slivers of wisdom that I continue to discover while assisting people become mentally fit.