It’s okay to not know everything throughout life;

Fighting an unrealistic perfectionist society


Malinah Jerscheid, Reporter

 The first time I heard the word “perfectionist” was when I was 12 years old. It was used to describe my habits as I erased the words that I had written on my paper for the thousandth time.

      It was a subconscious state of mind I lacked the authority to beat. Anything less than 110 percent all of the time was simply not enough. It was a disease that like me, affects much of the population. We are controlled by an unrealistic ideal of how we should be living our lives..

     In today’s world, we obsess over the idea of being perfect. The people we look up to; celebrities, influencers, and authority figures all have “perfect” in their description. But is it really worth all of the hype? 

     Don’t get me wrong, it is important to celebrate achievements, we all have them, and they deserve to be noticed, but constantly pushing ourselves over the limit to achieve a perfect standard is impossible and harmful both mentally and physically.

     I have recently been asking myself why. Why are we so compelled to achieve this impossible standard? Why do we spend so much time obsessing over the image we display for other people? How do we reprogram ourselves from this disease that has taken over our minds, giving us the false impression that we have to be on our A-game all of the time?

     I took to social media, asking my following if they feel themselves trying to live up to a “perfect” standard in their everyday lives. Out of 118 people polled, 87 percent of people said they have. This just proves that we aren’t alone, we all feel the subconscious pull of perfection taking over our lives.

But how do we stop it? I have spent the past few months of quarantine pondering this very question. How do we stop the tug of perfectionism? How do we not let it win?

     Simple enough, it’s a choice. It may take form as a mental breakdown, and a life reversal, or it may come as simple as a talk with yourself in the mirror. YOU are enough. YOU don’t have to have everything figured out every single day of your life. Whatever you have figured out in this moment, that is enough. You can’t and won’t reach the impossible standard of perfection, and that’s okay. No one expects you to.

     So, ask yourself, are you going to let the perfectionistic ideal win? Or are you going to look at yourself in the mirror and realize that it’s okay to not be perfect. Because I promise you, when you finally realize that the word “perfect” doesn’t control your life, a weight of a thousand boulders is lifted off of your shoulders.