Let's talk about the pressure to be perfect. Or the pressure to appear perfect. Either way, it's pressure. Life, social media, friends, families, or our jobs, some area of our lives wants to push us to succumb to the weight of perfection. Think about it, any given IG profile has perfect pictures of a family, husband, wife, 3 cute kids, and puppy all coiffed and posed for the cameras. There are the happy career professionals, briefcase toting and stiletto strutting to the office, not a hair out of place, or the happy homemaker with an immaculate home. You know the type, the one on the YouTube video that does the clean with me video, but their home is spotless. Meanwhile, you hike to the office with your old gym sneakers, some saltine crackers in your purse because you didn't have enough time for breakfast, and a coffee stain on your shirt. Your house is together...meaning it doesn't smell like a Diaper Genie, but it's probably not camera ready. You and your real-life vs. the life they force you to pine after.
For this midweek post, I want to talk about three peer pressure traits that you need to evict from your life...and how to celebrate your own experience!
Control - Perfection holds you hostage to feeling that everything has to be done, and it has to be done by you. If controlling everything around you is your thing, accepting that there will be times that it doesn't work according to plan is your best friend. If you don't have a backup plan for what will happen if something is amiss, figure out what is most important and put all of your energy into completing that first. Control is the little sister of perfection. Control is needy and vies for your attention, always pointing out failure. When control shows up, do something to counter. If control for you keeps things tidy to the detriment of enjoying family time. Give yourself a limit. Set a time that you get things under control. Let your family enjoy your home, play with toys, and watch movies. But an hour before bedtime, the entire family needs to clean up and get ready for the day. You've set a 1hr time limit before getting ready for bed. It doesn't change the nighttime routine and might offer you an additional benefit because your kids might fall asleep faster if they make big messes. This way, you have satisfied your inner taskmaster, and your family had a great Tuesday night. Look at you being great!
Comparison - Stop comparing your experience to the situation of someone else. Remember, people will only allow you to see the good parts of their life. You'll never know how many pictures were taken before the perfect one gets posted. Just because the counters and floors are clean doesn't mean that a mess of dirty pots aren't hidden in the pantry. The truth is, if you use your kitchen, a mess will be made. There is no need to punish yourself for having dirty plates in the sink. Consider yourself blessed to prepare a hot meal at home instead of beating yourself up because you don't keep a pristine home 24/7. The next time you fangirl over someone's IG photos, think about a memorable moment in your life and how fun it was for you. Stay there with the memory. Only focus on the good part. See? Your life is pretty awesome. You probably didn't take a picture because you were having too much fun.
Doubt - Stop doubting if you're doing a good job. You are! Think about your life and your family. Even on the hard days, most people would not want to trade places with others. Self-doubt often comes in when you are focused on the negative. What if they don't like me? What if it doesn't work out. We seldom ask ourselves, "what if they think I'm awesome? Or what if it's amazing?! A shift in your perspective will reveal that the only person that is questioning your worth is you. Stop doing that! If you are juggling work, homeschooling, and remember to wear your mask at the grocery store, stop doubting that you are anything less than stellar.
Life is challenging, and there are more than enough things to stress about. Whether or not you are as put-together as another should not be one of them. So what your kids' shoes don't match, or they are wearing a Halloween costume to church. Be proud that you made it to a socially distant church. Tell yourself that your messy kitchen and toys in the living room are yours. No one else has to live in your house, and even if that's not the norm at the neighbors' house, who cares. Let's normalize living to the best of our ability and enjoy it. The standard is yours. We are all making adjustments based on our new normals. The best part is, we are adjusting. So that means we are still able to learn and grow and evolve. So, by all means, embrace the adventure while being perfectly imperfect. You have permission!
These are absolutely my thoughts...