Well hello again…it has been a hot second! *cue dramatic explanation bleh blah bluh* Here we are, second semester senior year and I am feeling all sorts of ways. However, these last few months, I fell away from blogging and the truth is I THINK ABOUT IT EVERY DAY. Seriously. I miss it like crazy and I hope to get back into it as I have a lot of life changes coming up that I want to share with all of you 🙂 (i.e. graduating from college, moving in with my boyfriend, starting my first “real adult” job!!!)
When I started blogging, my posts were much more personal. I opened up about my anxiety and I shared personal details about my life. And I LOVED blogging so much. It was therapeutic and fun and creative. However, as my blog grew, my content changed and so did my opinion of the whole thing. I started to feel like I needed to fit in a box and be a certain type of “influencer”. The more eyes that saw my blog, the more pressure I felt in making it absolutely perfect (hello perfectionism!!! We will get into that later in this post). I wrote about stuff that I wasn’t super passionate about (i.e. college study tips) because it is what I thought my audience would want. And during this, I began to hate something that used to bring me joy…and it sucked a lot.
So I stopped blogging for the past few months and poured my heart into other areas. It was a VERY needed break and it allowed me some breathing room to figure out my priorities and goals.
I focused on my health (both mental and physical) and it was the best thing I have ever done for myself.
I photographed a lot of seniors and weddings!!!!!!
And I spent a lot of time with people I love.
But enough Instagram screenshots because I want to talk about perfectionism because I know that it is something I, along with many others, face.
I have some perfectionist tendencies and always have. It is great when it helps push me to succeed but it can also be absolutely exhausting.
In case you aren’t aware of what perfectionism is, I Wikipedia’d it for you (lol):
Perfectionism, in psychology, is a personality trait characterized by a person’s striving for flawlessness and setting high performance standards, accompanied by critical self-evaluations and concerns regarding others’ evaluations. (Source: Wikipedia)
Obviously, perfectionism is going to look different in everyone! But this gives you a general idea of what perfectionism is.
So why is it important to be aware of perfectionism?
Perfectionism can be crippling and has been linked to a number of clinical disorders such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders. It is especially rampant in college students and is often fueled by social media. In the words of Daisy Buchanan:
“Perfectionism can allow us to aim high and achieve great things. However, perfectionists are doomed to failure, because we set ourselves standards that are not attainable for humans. We will never meet our goals, to the detriment of our mental health and wellbeing. When we go online, we’re surrounded by platforms that appear to be full of other people meeting these goals. Intellectually, we know it’s all a lovely lie, but emotionally it’s a struggle. Feelings seem like facts.”
Perfectionism is that little voice in your head that tells you that you aren’t good enough. That you need to lose another five pounds. That you should have studied harder for an exam. That your legs look so fat compared to those of a fitness model you follow on Instagram. That you would look a lot better if you just stuck perfectly to your diet plan. It is paralyzing and oh so exhausting.
So how can we stop? How can we love ourselves for how and who we are now–flaws and mistakes included?
I don’t know the answer and I don’t want to pretend I do. But I do know that we can lift one another up with encouragement and trade in negative self-talk with words of positivity. We can take steps back from Instagram and Facebook when we need to and recognize that it is OK to disconnect. It isn’t easy and there is no one solution or fix, but next time you are feeling that perfectionist voice in your head, remember:
“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” – John Steinbeck
Can’t wait to share more positivity and love on this platform. I support and care for all of you so much. Thanks for all of your kindness & support!