How To Deal With Perceived Perfection Envy

October 12, 2016

I’ve been thinking a lot about perceived perfection lately, specifically how to deal with perceived perfection envy.

3 Tips for how to deal with perceived perfection envy

Let me paint two stories for you.

Number 1:

You’re hanging out on social media with the intention of reading a few posts, letting your brain relax for a little while, catching up with some friends and looking at some pretty pictures. But then, the swirl starts:

Am I the only person not going on an awesome vacation?

My house does not look like that.

I do not look like that.

My kids will not pose like that.

Everyone’s photos are so crisp, white and clean.

Why don’t my photos look like that?

My site, my profile, my account does NOT have that kind of reach.

I suck.

Everything I’m doing is wrong.

And down, down, down we go.

Number 2:

Jane from work seriously has it all together. She just got promoted and bought a new house.

Wow, she’s younger than I am.

She’s been at the company for less time than I have.

Why didn’t I get promoted?

What am I doing wrong?

My work isn’t getting seen in the same way.

I bet her new house is spotless and Pinterest worthy.

My house is definitely NOT like that.

I suck.

Everything I do is wrong.

And down, down, down, we go.

No matter what the situation: health, wealth, family, home, work, the rabbit holes exist and they can be deep.

Perceived perfection envy is a real thing and it can rob us of our happiness, our accomplishments, our peace of mind. I’m not exactly sure why it’s so easy to break ourselves down. Why in an instant we allow all the time we spend building ourselves up to crumble.

All the self reflection, all the soul searching, the classes, the meditating, the running, the practicing. We look it in the face and say, you don’t matter.

We’re seriously willing to throw it all out the window because of a few words, photos, successes of other people. All over our perceived perfections of others, because of a moment in time that is most likely not indicative of real life.

As I type it out I realize how insane it sounds.

So my challenge to you, to me, is:

  • Find a way to stop the spin.

Whether this is unplugging, unfollowing, journaling, exercising, meditating. Find an off switch when you feel yourself dipping down into that hole. Use whatever tool works best for you and force yourself to use it.

  • Find some perspective.

Go out with people who know you. Tell them you’re feeling down, let them help build you back up. Good friends are great like that.

Can’t meet up with anyone? Be your own cheerleader, make a list of your accomplishments. Yep, totally cheesy but that list can be your reminder that you haven’t been wasting time.

  • Create a positive mantra.

Mantras are simply words or phrases that you repeat to aid in concentration. The great thing about them is that the repetition makes it hard for the other crap to filter in. Choose something uplifting. That way, every time you repeat it to yourself you get a shot of positivity. I know some lovely ladies who use some of the following:

Stay open.

I am enough.


Let it go.

The results of perceived perfection envy are real but the perceived perfection is not. It’s just that, perceived. Remember, we’re all just real, raw, imperfect beings.

Instead spend time nurturing your mind, body, spirit.

Nurture the real.

The more you focus on the real, the less the other stuff matters.

Today’s Makings Of Small Step: Do you suffer from perceived perfection envy? Awareness of your patterns can help keep you from dropping down the rabbit hole.


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