• Helen Hattingh

Perfect is overrated!

When you are faced with a challenge that is absolutely unachievable, the wheels fall off. That irritating voice in your head shouts loudly that you can't keep your shit together and you are useless. You find yourself slouching and being unable to cope with even the most menial task like washing the dishes. It all seems too much. The slightest change to your schedule makes you feel like an absolute failure and you battle to take the next step, choosing instead to dig a bit deeper into the duvet and shove a pillow over your head. Ever felt that way?

I am sure you have! We are told constantly that you should be getting up at 5 am to meditate and do your yoga. You're then supposed to write out your daily to-do list and arrive at the office before everyone else so that you gain extra time to prepare for the day. You're also supposed to fit in a gym session so that you don't lose the perks of the gym contract. You're supposed to have manicured nails and the latest hair cut, whilst ensuring that you're the best parent to your children and also contribute to your community in some way. The dog needs a bath and the car licenses are expiring and you need to remember to make a plan about the holiday you can't afford but have already paid the deposit for and you're not sure when last you updated your insurance schedule.

It gets tough out there. Why do we allow ourselves to get sucked into this model of perfectionism that seems totally unachievable and lets us feel like we are just not coping with it all? We're constantly bombarded by new diets, vegetarianism, which makes us feel guilty about the fact that we are responsible for the CO2 emissions and we're responsible for killing the world!

Who made the rules and why are we playing by them? what happened to "do what's best for ourselves"?

Where did the choice go? It seems that we have lost our ability to think for ourselves and are on a constant hunt to bring a false sense of belonging to our lives. Belonging to the social media gang encourages us to be like all the models with impossibly perfect figures and to hunt down the next guru that can change our lives and make us better people. Social media tells us that we should be doing this class at the gym and our children need that in their lives in order to succeed, but what do we think? What and whom are we comparing ourselves to?

Do we even think any more? Society is like a herd of sheep, one following the other with no more room for the freedom of choice.

Isn't it time to get off the bus? Isn't it time to decide for ourselves how we want to live our lives and determine what is important to us? Will our children suffer if we had a lower internet speed than the neighbors? Would it be wrong to dedicate a day to yourself instead of making yet another batch of pancakes to raise funds for whatever needs fundraising? What would happen if we stayed in bed until 9 am instead of hurling ourselves at the dumbells in the gym? I do believe its time to stop and ask: What is important to me and the ones I love? I do believe that its time to connect in person with other people and find human networks that work for you.

We have exploded with ensuring that we keep up with what society demands from us and we have lost our ability to think authentically. It's time to stop. It's time to say no. It's time to get off the bus. It's time to laugh at the rat race and chose differently.

I challenge you this week to stop trying to keep up and rather do what's best for YOU! To realize that you are good enough and that you have the freedom to choose - and probably know, deep down, better than anyone, what's best for YOU!

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South Africa