In late February, I surveyed a small sample of females all of whom I consider to be doing the good, hard work of living life to the fullest each and every day the best they can and know how. As I was trying to get an accurate pulse on what types of media content would be most helpful and useful for women as they navigate everyday life I titled the survey “What Women Need and Want to Hear”.
While the results were not overly surprising to me, the responses to the survey did confirm that we need to be more aware of, and sensitive to, signs of mental health struggles as well as participating in more open, honest, engaged conversations surrounding the various branches (root causes and side effects) of mental health. It is clear that women, and I’d likely guess people in general, want more information on how to better care for themselves physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually so that they can stay in their “good head space”.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so each Monday I will do a Mental Health Monday post that gives information which speaks to one of the Top 5 areas that the women I surveyed said they needed and wanted to hear about more.
Overall survey results- Top 5 (reminder the survey participants were all female)
-Ditch the constant performing, perfecting and pleasing (84.8%)
-Permission to prioritize yourself (78.1%)
-Living with anxiety and/or depression (69.7%)
-Cultivating healthy boundaries and routines (66.7%)
-Interested in faith based/Bible content (66.7%)
Today’s topic is how to ditch the desire to perform, perfect and please. If, most likely when, we live in a constant state of performance where we are continually striving for perfection and always wanting to please everyone, we will more times than not find ourselves falling short. This, in turn, can lead us down a path to feeling overwhelmed, anxious and oftentimes depressed.
Hear me! We cannot always “be on stage”. If we live everyday trying to perform for others, we will wear ourselves out, and eventually we will crash and burn. If we live in a constant state of perfecting, we will live in a constant state of anxiety. If we wake up each day and run full speed on all cylinders to be everything to everybody, to please everyone, we will feel like failures because we were not made to be and do everything; we were not created to please everyone. Those are impossible tasks, and we suck the very life out of ourselves if we live this way.
Stop the 3 Ps. Stop the need to excel at anything and everything. Let go of the need for praise and approval. Release the desire to do what makes others proud and/or happy and do what makes you feel good, feel alive. I am sharing 5 Quick Tips on how to begin to conquer the monster that is perfecting, performing and pleasing.
Stop comparing your life to other people’s lives- Life is not a competition, but it’s about finding what makes you and your loved ones happy and doing more of that. We’re all on different paths in this life; we have different starting points and different circumstances. Live your life. Run your race.
Let go of the need to have everyone like you - THIS IS NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN! THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE! You will never be able to get everyone to like you. I mean, think about it… do you like everyone you know??? I think not. And that’s okay. Different people like different things, and that is the beauty of being individuals that live in a diverse world. So work hard to find where and with whom you belong. Don’t live life to simply fit in. Live to belong. You be you. Let them be them. While we’re busy being ourselves and belonging, we will learn that we are not responsible for other people’s happiness- that’s on them.
Measure your “success” using your standards, not someone else’s Our life is not about living the way others want us to, but it’s about living the way we want to live and doing more of what brings us light, joy and happiness. Our successes might be someone else’s failed attempts and vice versa. That’s okay. Let’s live each day to be better versions of ourselves not someone else. We need to use our morals, our values, our belief systems, our personal goals, and aspirations to measure our progress in life. We need to stop letting society tell us how we are measuring up.
Remember that you are who you are, and you like what you like. We always hear that it’s good to be “well rounded”... well, I don’t agree. When we strive to be “well rounded”, we often end up trying to be really good (ahem, perfect) at too many things, all the things. And this friend, is the beginning of the deadly cycle of performing, perfecting and pleasing. We don’t need to do all the things, be all the things, think all the things, try all the things. It’s ok for us to find our niche, our zone, our passion, and be all in on those things, or that one thing.
You are a work in progress- We are always changing, growing, learning, evolving-- and that is good enough. We are going to mess up, we are going to let others down, we are going to fail, we are going to be criticized, judged and disliked. That’s just life.
Let’s hop off the merry- go- round of performing, pleasing and perfecting because it takes us nowhere. It simply spins us round and round in circles.