The World is Not EnoughPosted: September 21, 2010
I got a raise and a promotion…but why no corner office?
My professor gave my term paper a 96%? Why not a 100%?
I lost fourteen pounds…now if only I could lose two more I’d be perfect.
Perfectionism is – quite frankly – a bitch.
It’s no fun chasing unattainable ideals and pushing ourselves to our every limit to reach them. Our own internal pressures can be hard enough to live up to – but what about when the expectations come from somebody else?
As you know, I brought The Coach home to meet my family this weekend. Granted, I wasn’t planning on doing that for quite some time, seeing as we’re one day shy of our official one month anniversary…but they kept asking me to introduce him, so I obliged – and he sweetly agreed.
My grandparents found him as wonderful as I do; my mother, on the other hand, had her nose in the air all night. I absolutely love this woman, yet I’m constantly frustrated with her inability to be pleased. His compliments, polite conversation, and thoughtful gestures were hardly noticed, yet she honed in on our joking banter and told me I should be offended by his sarcasm.
Let’s stop talking about a man for a moment. There are plenty of other instances when what we feel is our best for ourselves is not seen as the best by someone else. Personal friends and even a few readers have told me how pressured they feel by parents, spouses, or well-intentioned friends in various areas of their personal lives such as careers, family, and relationships. Loaded statements eat away at us until we begin to doubt ourselves, and that is the moment where things begin to fall apart.
We push ourselves to absurd and often unhealthy lengths to appease these people. We suddenly become so willing to become somebody we are not – be it a domestic goddess, a supermom, a business maven, a gym rat, or a number of other personas. We force ourselves to adopt characteristics that don’t mesh with our core identity and over time, misery and resentment are the outcome – not a sudden emergence as Superwoman.
There will always be people for whom everything is one step short of satisfactory. To break the chains of inadequacy, security in ourselves is essential. Our best is enough. We are in no way, shape, or form under any obligation to live up to another’s standards. While there is a great deal of wisdom to be found in the opinions of others, there is no requirement to restructure our lives or ourselves based on another’s comments.