Confession – I am 100% a perfectionist, although if you know me well enough you’ll be able to guess that within 10 minutes of sitting near me. Ever since I had to pack a bag to take between my parent’s houses each week, to making sure my shelves look Pinterest worthy and tidy, I’ve developed a way of life and sometimes it’s very pressured, but when it comes to getting the job done, us perfectionists are on the ball 24/7 am I right?
So what’s really the problem with being a perfectionist? Are we all a misunderstood breed? Well, if you’re a perfectionist like me…
1. You don’t take breaks. Ever.
Taking a break when you have so much you could be getting on with and getting ahead with? I’ll just make sure all my content and work is planned up until October and then we can consider a movie night…
2. Everything needs improving, always.
In a world and industry where people are going viral or inspiring others with posts or products every other day, you constantly feel the need to improve. Whether it’s making your photography more like Carrie‘s (seriously, can I have your camera and photographer boyfriend please?) or learning HTML day and night to make your blog look as slick as Vogue, you constantly feel you need to better your content and ideas to feel noticed in the world, which takes me on to…
3. Comparison, it’s hard
When you’re trying to make yourself a unique entity on the internet, it can make you feel a bit poop when someone posts a video that everyone goes crazy for and get millions of views and then they experience an amazing response whilst you’re there like ‘but why doesn’t that happen to me?!’. Always remember that no one blog is the same, and we are all individual. If you’re comparing yourself to someone who isn’t even n the same niche as you, you’re fighting an endless battle – you can’t wish for 100k views on a video about success if you’re comparing it against the views of a tutorial. Accept that there are people out there that are perfect for what the world needs right now, and that your time will come very soon – just work hard!
4. Organisation is a way of life
If you don’t have a notepad for post ideas, another for to-do lists, and a calendar alongside it for your social and work life, then you’re obviously not doing it right. I mean, it’s more opportunities to highlight, colour code, know exactly when everything is being published, occurring in your life, and of course gives you all the more reason to work on posts right? Always need a post to whack out….
5. Suffering for your art
Stress, it’s a biggie. The more I try to perfect my art, my content, my life, the more stressed I become. Totally worth the breakouts, crying, dark chocolate binges when you get A* and loads of great responses right? Right….
6. Sleep is underrated
Perfectionist or not, sleep is a god damn gift to life. Even if you do finish up work early for once, use it as an opportunity to go to bed earlier, snuggle up and doze off as you absentmindedly scroll through Pinterest. Worth the 6am wake up so you can start all over again.
7. Symmetry is a life goal
A perfectly balanced shelf, a bed arranged with cushions in a certain order, even a well proportioned image is enough to make me tense up in excitement. THE PERFECTION I JUST CAN’T.
8. Having a one-focused mind
This is a big one for me, especially in how I tackled working on my blog and education. I gave up on my blog and channel in 2009 because I was told I had to focus on school to get anywhere in life, so I dropped everything that would hinder my chances of A*-B grades. Great if you want to knuckle down on a project but not so much when you’re churned out the other side of education with a diploma, no idea of what job you want and a creative passion that’s been left stagnant since you were 15.
Try to rationalise the things you want in life with the things that immediately need work, so in my case, I’d have weened off the self-pressure of completing homework and overworking on projects to dabbling in videos or posts a few times a week instead of turning to MSN to relax. Enjoy what you do, and chill the heck out when you do it.
9. To do lists exist for a reason
Life can’t exist calmly without a to do list, everything is resolved with a to do list. Colour co-ordinate them, make lists for lists you need to complete, perfectionists cannot function without a to do list, and we function even better when they are completed.
10. Smudging your makeup = game over
One reason I don’t do eyeliner is because I can’t deal with perfecting the black line across my lashes that can take me from Parisian perfection to Paula the Panda in seconds. It’s more stress than it’s worth, and don’t even get me started on smudging your nails right at the last minute – heart attack central, sweaty neck panic, why would you nails? WHY?!
11. You have a routine no one understands
This bowl is specifically for breakfast, this mug is specifically for tea, and banana is mashed before it can be put in the porridge which must be cooked whilst you take your supplements, and teeth must be brushed before your wash your face. Oh and all work must be completed before 3pm otherwise productivity nosedives and you can say goodbye to a functional Lauren until tomorrow rolls round. This is why it’s hard for me to make plans at short-notice.
12. Anything you do achieve, you did it by yourself!
Aside from all the problems that may come with perfectionism, it does have its perks. All the hard work you put into your dreams and goals, nothing is more rewarding that when you get a massive payoff or positive response. Okay, so you could slack on the amount of punishing and strain you put on your body and mind, but without your strong desire to achieve and do well you wouldn’t feel half as pleased if you’d just absentmindedly submitted some work and prayed for the best. YAY for perfectionism!
Whilst perfectionism might 90% of the time be really stressful and make you want to flop on the floor in wails of WHY IS IT SO HARD, it can help you focus on your goals and make you want to achieve more from yourself. Just don’t forget every once in a while that a day off exists, so switch off the laptop and hide the to do lists, indulge in some Sherlock and have a picnic of humous and carrots to stuff your face with – I know, that’s living the high life right there.
Are you a perfectionist? How do you deal with stress, comparison and perfected areas of life? What do you do in a perfectionist crisis?
Lots of Love,
Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more.