Why you need to stop striving for perfection and comparing yourself to others 

the foggy grounds of Pena Palace Sintra Portugal
The foggy grounds of Pena Palace, Sintra, Portugal

For days, I have pondered whether or not to publish this post due to the nature of the topic. After much consideration, I felt that this is a topic that many of us can relate to. It doesn’t matter what you do in life. If you’re an office worker, an artist, a blogger, a student, a stay at home parent or if you’re unemployed – negative thinking can affect us all. 

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Self-doubt is a terrible feeling, but it is also something that we can all fall victim to. In this day and age, it is no surprise to me that we, as a society are putting too much pressure on ourselves to be, act or look a certain way. Not only do we have the media bombarding us with articles about how to get the so called ideal body, wardrobe or career, but social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have become a daily part of our lives.

As somebody that uses Instagram on a daily basis for art and travel inspiration, I have first-hand experience of the negative thoughts and feelings that can come from logging onto social media. A quick scroll down our news feeds can sometimes leave us feeling insecure and unworthy.

Seeing somebody share their “perfect” life can make us feel like our own is not good enough. Seeing somebody share their incredible paintings can make us question our own talents. The problem here is that comparing ourselves to others can make us lack confidence in ourselves and our abilities. This can make us less likely to take risks and progress in what we do because we are too scared of failure.

Monastery in Lisbon Portugal
Admiring Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon, Portugal

Because “perfection” is an illusion 

The truth is, many of the individuals in magazines or behind these popular social media accounts do not lead the lives we think they lead. Our favourite bloggers and Instagram users may seem to have the perfect lifestyle when they are snapping photos in dreamy locations such as the Maldives or sharing posts about going on safari in Africa, but we don’t know their whole story.

Think about it for a while. Most of us don’t share every aspect of our lives online, especially if we are going through a bit of a rough patch. We don’t want everybody knowing our business, so why would they? Just like us, they are normal people with their own uncertainties. You do not need to aim to look, be or live like they do because what they post online is not always a true representation of who they are or the life they are living. 

Because you are their role model

Something that has started to become apparent to me in recent months is the effect that our own self-doubt and quest for perfectionism can have on the younger generation. Our young siblings or children are influenced by our behaviours and if they see us doubting ourselves or being negative, they will think it’s the norm. Is that really what you want?

A watercolour painting of Lisbon Portugal
A watercolour painting of Lisbon, Portugal

For better mental health 

I am not saying it’s easy because it is still something that I am working on myself, but next time you start to doubt yourself or criticise that piece of work that you have just spent hours working on, stop and think. What good will it really do? Will it bring you success? Will it make you happy? The answer is no – it will make you miserable. 

So instead, aim to become a better you, not a perfect you. Stop comparing yourself to others and stop putting so much pressure on yourself to be perfect. Learn to be kinder to yourself. Trust me, you will be a much happier person if you do.

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6 thoughts on “Why you need to stop striving for perfection and comparing yourself to others 

  1. So true…and you couldn’t have said it any better! Quieting that inner critic can be a tough job, and so many struggle with it. It’s something I’ve been working on for quite some time. Happy to say I’m actually making some progress…and it’s so worthwhile!!! : )

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    1. Thank you, I agree! It is very difficult and I am still working on it too, but I think it’s so important for our mental health and happiness! Glad to hear you’re making progress 🙂

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