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Is Striving Keeping You from Thriving?

Do you hold yourself to high standards? Do you value quality work and good follow through from others? Do you expect the same of yourself? I can relate. I spent much of my life through early adulthood gripping white knuckled to these values. What were supposed to be the glory days of college carried a lot of extraneous stress and pressure to perform well academically at the expense of enjoying the experience as a whole. I found that there is a cost to the pursuit of perfection. Holding yourself to the highest standards all the time creates a great amount of stress and anxiety. Perfectionism can quickly lead to self criticism and difficulties in accepting and valuing yourself just for being you. It can also lead to difficulties in relationships. Ever notice that you hold those you care most about to exceptionally high standards as     . . . read more

Attention Perfectionists: Please Stop

I hear it announced all the time. It’s slightly boasting, but safely under the guise of being an admission: I am a perfectionist. Listen up, self-professed perfectionist. I say this out of love and concern: You need to reconsider your stance. It will not go well for you. You need to wake up or you’ll be a bitter, miserable person in no time at all. This is a problem, not a merit-badge in the making. I loathe perfectionism because it’s an impossible task. A fool’s errand. But it looks really cute and appealing. You get a lot of praise for it. (That’s why it’s so insidious). But it will destroy your life. Why? Perfectionism is nothing more than a cloak of fear hellbent on sucking the joy out of your life. Yes, fear. It’s all about this one promise: If     . . . read more

Practice Makes…Better

Note from Hannah: This is a guest post by Emily Caswell as part of the popular New Perspectives Series featured on this blog. The goal of this series is to shed new light on mental health, wellness, and just being a human being. For more posts in the series, click here. “Have you practiced your flute?” is a common question in our house. My son, finishing up the second year with his instrument, always says yes. He’s developed a great habit of practicing every day, something I wanted for him (and for his sister) from the time they were little. I know, that sounds like a strangely specific thing to wish for your children: “Please make them healthy, happy people who practice.” But there are reasons for my wish and those reasons have nothing to do with that other “P”     . . . read more

Perfection: The Really Cute, Organized, Put-Together BULLY

This is not my laundry closet. I believe what I have is more appropriately called a laundry dungeon. Still, I do love pictures of tidy, sparkling cupboards, “mud” rooms, and, of course, closets. My house doesn’t look like one of these very lovely Pinterest images and that’s okay. Other people do have houses like this, and that’s okay too. I admire and applaud their dedication to beautifying and organizing their homes. However, I think we need to be careful not to be too seduced by the idea of having everything be just so. We can’t expect to have every aspect of our life look like it should be documented in a magazine. There is no such thing as perfect. Everyone intellectually knows this. Yet, somehow the striving for perfection is a big part of our lives. Well-meaning people everywhere are     . . . read more

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