In life, there will always be things that are stressful for every person at one point or another. In my life, I am a huge perfectionist and judge myself when any little thing goes wrong or I have a problem. I set unattainable goals and standards for myself, and when I don't meet these, I feel like such a failure. I know that some other teens can relate to this sense of pressure to succeed and to meet our own, as well as, others expectations. If you are one of those people and are often hard on yourself for not being a certain way, keep reading.
In my experience, perfectionists aren’t necessarily concerned with being perfect in every aspect of their life. Sometimes it is that they feel pressured by themselves to do one or two things really well, or strive to be better in some way. Some of these self- inflicted pressures could be getting good grades and being smart, fitting in with your gender stereotype, body image/wishing you looked differently, class status, and the list goes on and on. But for me, many of those attributes apply. I wish I was skinnier, more athletic, a better friend, smarter, a better girlfriend, and just overall a person who people look up to. However, last night I had an experience that changed all of my views on myself. It was my 16th Birthday, and two of my friends put together a video of interviews of all my friends saying why they cared about me as a person. Many of them mentioned that I was smart, funny, so sweet, genuine, gorgeous, and an amazing friend. While I sat there watching this video, I felt so blessed to have people who thought so highly of me. I wondered now, why is it that I am so hard on myself? I realized that the pressure I put on myself to be better didn’t need to be there because all of my friends loved me just for who I am. I know many of you may be reading this and thinking, well my friends don’t love me as much as that, but I would like you to know that I never had any idea how much any of my friends admired me before this.
So I want to challenge you today to reflect on all the many ways you are hard on yourself, and try to take a different angle on those perspectives. What would your friends say about you? Would they allow you to be this hard on yourself if they knew? Would you ever be as mean or judgmental to another person, to a friend, or to a family member, as you are to yourself? Take a second today to be nice to yourself. To treat yourself with the love and respect that you show to other people in your life. I don't mean this to be cheesy, but seriously, show yourself some love, give yourself time to break, and allow yourself to just be who you are.