Perfectionism, Grace and Enjoying the Process

Hey! Before we start did you know that I am also on YouTube?

Every-once in a while, a post from this page is featured and discussed in detail on my channel! Along with featuring blog posts you can find other thoughts, vlogs featuring my pretty average life and discussions on mental wellness and personal development. I enjoy doing it and would love to see some of you there too!

This week I featured this post on my channel! You can find it here or watch it below!

I struggle with perfectionism in my marriage.

Well, actually that’s a partial truth. I do struggle with perfectionism in my marriage, but not just there. I struggle with perfectionism everywhere, I always have. I thought, however, that I had overcome it. That I had finally reached contentment with being imperfect and had fully embraced my flaws in all of their glory. I thought that until…well until I got married.

How did I figure that one out? Lately, I’ve found myself frustrated. It took me a little while to figure out the source of my frustration but once I figured it out it made sense.

I’ve been doing this thing since I was a teenager and honestly probably earlier. I strive to be the absolute best at everything. When I fail, inevitably, I take it hard and become pretty verbally degrading to myself. I’ve made steps towards releasing myself from my impossible expectations, but what I didn’t predict was that instead of me holding myself to an unreasonably high standard, I would project my expectations of myself as expectations others had on me. Translation; I would assume that someone else expected me to be a certain way and as a result, I would try to conform to whatever the assumed expectations of me were.

Enter this past week with me feeling worn out and exhausted and like I was a total failure at being the superwoman & wife that I felt I was expected to be when in reality…the only one who expected that from me…was me.
I expected me to keep my home spotless at all times without needing help to maintain it. I expected me to keep up with cooking nutritious and elaborate dinners every evening. I expected me to keep every mental note of what needed to be purchased when and what we were running out of in the home. And I expected me to be able to do all of these things while maintaining my work schedule, sleep schedule gym schedule, social life, and creative projects.
It’s not possible.
So I “failed”. I failed and became tired and frustrated and moody and irritable. It’s funny just how quickly something can become a burden when you put it up on a pedestal like that. And that includes yourself. That’s exactly what happened to me. Cooking, something that I take joy in, became a burden. Cleaning, something that usually calms me and improves my mood, became a burden. All of these things that really don’t bother me when I’m in a mentally healthy space become the sources of my frustration. Even myself, simply existing and dealing with the everyday nuances of life became a frustration. All because I believed I needed to uphold an expectation of perfection that in reality…was never placed upon me.

The moral of this story? You’re not that special.
Just kidding; kind of.
Really though, what I learned from this and will continue to learn because I guarantee I’ll need another lesson of this in the near future is this: allow yourself to simply be human. I have to remind myself constantly that I’m a human who needs rest. I’m a human who needs help. I’m a human who wasn’t designed to do it all and I really shouldn’t spend all of my valuable energy trying to do just that. Striving for perfect at the cost of your joy, your peace, and your relationships is prideful. It’s discontentment. It stems from places of envy, insecurity, and from focusing way to much on yourself.

I wasn’t designed to be perfect (because what even is that first of all), but I was designed to simply live, and to live means to learn, and mess up and explore and to feel things. To reject the entire process is to miss out on life’s lessons and blessings. I am not above needing grace from others or needing grace from myself and I need to give more of it. I think we all could use a bit more grace.
I wish I could say this will be the last time I lecture myself on getting rid of my perfectionist tendencies, but it won’t be. That’s a part of the process and that too is a part of living. I’m going to do my best to enjoy it, all of it.