Have you ever asked: are we addicted to being perfect? I certainly think that at times we are addicted to being perfect. And it may not just be in the way that we want to look too. But it could also be in the way that we want to parent our children, perform at work, or just in the way that we want others to perceive us.
I think everyone at some point in their life will experience this feeling or know someone who has gone through this. I personally went through a time in my life where I struggled to leave the house because I didn’t feel I looked good enough. It would take me hours to get ready and I would stand back, look at myself in the mirror, then go up so close to the mirror and pick things up that I didn’t like about the way I looked.
I would then go and put another layer of make-up on to see if that would help. And of course it didn’t. Because there was nothing wrong with what I looked like from the outside - it had everything to do with how I was feeling on the inside.
This went on for a few months where I lost the person that I used to be. I used go out and have a good time. But the person I became was someone who couldn’t and didn’t want to leave the house and hated what I saw in the mirror.
This feeling of trying to look perfect was creating so much anxiety within myself it started to affect my life in so many ways. At this time I had a lot going on and now believe I was putting so much emphasis on looking perfect because I was trying to mask the sadness and pain that I was dealing with in my personal life.
As time has gone on I have worked a lot on my self-esteem and I've learned to love the little things that I didn’t like about myself.
There are always things that can help improve our insecurities or keep the things we like about ourselves maintained. Such as keeping healthy, adding the gym to your regime and using good skin care (just to name a few).
But the biggest thing we have to improve is the way we are thinking! Learning to love ourselves is one of the hardest things that we can achieve in life. It isn’t something that we're taught from a young age. So we need to learn this for ourselves, others and future generations. It’s the most important lesson in life - learning to love ourselves.
One thing that I have learnt to live with is my melasma/pigmentation! For me, this is the first thing I see when I look in the mirror. How ridiculous… I know!! But it just goes to show how ridiculous the things are that we obsess over! I have been brave enough to go out without make-up. Only to be shocked when friends have tried to wipe away my pigment thinking it was dirt.
I have done many amazing treatments to keep my melasma from being so prominent. Here's a little photo to demonstrate the lengths that I've gone to (redness due to Cosmelan treatment).
Which makes me feel a lot better when I am not wearing make-up. But what I have learnt is that the pigmentation is apart of my DNA and I will never be able to get rid of it forever. But I am lucky that in this case there is non-invasive treatments out there to help me manage and lighten it. When I came to realize it is apart of who I am and what I am made up of, it made it easier to live my life not obsessing over it, and you will too!
Don’t ever feel bad for going out and hitting those insecurities on the head. Whether it's losing weight or even gaining weight - whatever it may be, we are lucky to have access to information and treatments available to manage and maintain our insecurities. And we also need to embrace them as well.
What I love most about my job is having the opportunity to make someone’s insecurities, or perceived flaws, a little less obvious to themselves. I see a lot of people suffering medical conditions such as alopecia. And to give them the gift of feeling more confident with their new eyebrows - which they no longer have to draw on and no longer have to worry if they sweat or work out that their eyebrows will wipe away.
If only we could see ourselves through other people's eyes. The little things that we don’t like about ourselves, someone else will find cute and unique and hopefully in time we will think that as well.
This goes for other areas of life we are trying to be perfect at. Tell yourself that you are beautiful, you are a good mum, you are a good wife and give yourself a break. Take a step back and focus on all of the wonderful things that make you who you are! No one is looking as closely to your imperfections as you are. What you see is not what everyone else is seeing.