We all know there’s no such thing as perfection. Yet why do strive for it? Or, rather, why do we expect it?
Everyone does it. When something doesn’t come out exactly as we want it, we get upset with ourselves, chastise ourselves for not doing it “right” the first time. Mental health professionals would have a lot less work, I think, if we didn’t do that to ourselves.
Whenever I’m working on a project and I find out that I’ve missed something, I feel like I haven’t done my job properly. My first instinct is to berate myself. But then I tell myself that no one is perfect and that everyone misses stuff. (Everyone misses stuff, right?)
I really think that it’s a battle wound from being a woman—we’re told that if we’re not perfect, we’re not worthy. There was a great article in The Atlantic about the differences between men and women where confidence is concerned. (LINK HERE) The message of the article, in a nutshell, is that women are under-confident—even when completely qualified to do something—while men are over-confidence—even when they are completely not qualified to do something. I recognized myself in all the statements about women’s lack of confidence.
I, like many other women, struggle to keep my self-confidence and self-esteem afloat and it’s not always easy. Where men might brush off a mistake with an “oh well” and move on to the next thing, women will often internalize it and tell themselves that they’re not good enough for whatever it is. Some of us overcome it, while others fight each and every day. The fight can be exhausting, but it’s worth it, not just for ourselves but for girls growing up now who need role models to show them how to be strong, confident, and self-reliant. And we need to send a message to all women that perfection is not only unrealistic, it’s unnecessary, and that even if something we do is flawed, we’re still worthy.
Battle on, sisters.