mullings + musings // perfection

A couple days ago, I posted a photo to Instagram just like I usually do about twice a day. The likes started trickling in & filling up my screen. But when I went back to respond to a comment, it dawned on me that I could have cropped the picture in a way that would have made it look much better. Make it look perfect. I was immediately stressed out. My picture had been "validated" by likes, but my need for perfection was taking over. I wanted to delete it and repost the newly cropped version. I resisted that urge and won a (very) small battle that day. But the thought stuck with me. Why was I so obsessed with creating perfection? 

Perhaps it's part of my culture. I grew up in a Persian family, almost all of my cousins are doctors or lawyers. I am a lawyer. I thank my lucky stars every single day that I have supportive parents that allowed me the freedom to do whatever I wanted and supported my million random ideas, but the fact of the matter is: I still felt the pressure from peers, society, myself...and I went to law school. And then law school was highly-competitve and I strived for perfection even more. Never-ending cycle.

Perhaps it's my own ego. I firmly believe we should constantly be striving to refine ourselves, our character, our actions, our speech. But when does that desire to become a better version of ourselves turn into an obsession with perfection? Maybe motive is an important factor. And we can't forget we live in a society that is always promoting the next best thing, where for the right price it seems you can buy perfection. 

Oh and don't even get me started on the blogging world and the images of pure bliss we seem to be subjected to on a daily basis. Now please read this next part with a grain of salt, and remember I love love the blogging world, but it's far from perfect. So are we pushed to perfection because we feel competitive? Or jealous? After all,  someone will always show up at Target just at the right time to grab that last designer-collab blazer right before it sells out and then blog about it. Someone will always have better outfit photos because she has a hot husband who just happens to know how to take incredible shots as the sun is setting and her hair is blowing in the wind.  I realize this is a discussion that has been had many times before; and I do believe many bloggers have raised the issue and are striving for authenticity and transparency (myself included) so I won't go further into that here. (Plus this is more about me taking individual responsibility for spiraling down the perfection black hole.)

I can't tell you how many times I have made myself sick with worry trying to find the perfect solution to a business issue, or I have complained because I can't find the perfect outfit for an event, or I have stayed up late trying to create the perfect collage for my blog. There's constant emphasis on being perfect. Even our daily speech revolves around it. I can't even count how times a day I type 'perfect!' or 'perf!' on Twitter and Instagram. Typing that actually just made me laugh out loud! ;)

As with all of my random musings posts, I would love to hear from you!
Do you face these same challenges? 
How do you quiet the voice that is pushing for perfection? 
Is perfection even a bad thing? 

Hope y'all have a wonderful weekend!

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Nat said...

When I was younger I cared a lot more about perfection than I do now. I'm not going to say I don't strive to make instagram or my blog look perfect but at the same time I really don't care that much. I'm blogging because it's a fun outlet for me I'm not trying to start a business or create a brand so maybe that's why I don't care that much. I really just want to present my life and me as real as I can.

Lindsay Kauffman said...

Thank you for this! Such honest words. I think a lot of us (especially bloggers) feel pressured to be perfect everyday. I too stress about the image of my blog and look back at my instagram photos like, "why did I post that?"...but, then I remember that I'm human and sometimes people like to see a few imperfections here and there to validate the fact that we are human. Love you and your blog (and instagrams)! Keep it up sugar!

Michelle Nahom said...

Well I am far from perfect and honestly I don't really care anymore. That said, I will go back and fix an error on my blog and I do read my posts about eight zillion time before I post them, but I can get ready and out of the house in 20 min if I have to. So I guess we all have ways we strive to be better, but we just have to sometimes say, "that's good enough!"

Sandra Kohlmann said...

I try to find a balance between my online image being "perfectly" curated and looking like a hot mess. This mostly comes in the form of aiming to keep my house clean and tidy, so I can post photos that show my real life, without being embarrassed. It doesn't always work. And I will always fail in the department of liking how I look in photos, so I end up staying out of them most of the time.

KelseyRose said...

This completely hits home as I constantly struggle with perfectionism. I'm in the throes of switching careers (psychology to styling) and I know I keep myself from just jumping in because I want everything to be perfect. Probably not going to happen.

Thanks for sharing... it is good to know others feel the same!