Perfectionism is Overrated


Today I want to ask you a question that has been on my mind for a long time. When did we as a society start thinking that everything in this life needs to be perfect? When did we start believing that everything we say, do, and feel must be perfect?

Instead of simply doing the best we can or trying our hardest at something and giving it our best efforts, somewhere along the way we have set the bar so high for ourselves where we honestly believe it all has to be done perfect, and if it is not then we are inadequate.

That if we can’t flawlessly balance working full time, being an epic wife, and being a super mom all at once, that we’re this utter failure of a person. That if we can’t manage what it appears all of the rest of the world does, that we’re hopeless. That every day our hair needs to be done just right, our makeup needs to look flawless, we need to be dressed to the nines, our house immaculately clean, dinner on the table must be Pinterest-worthy, and our lives and conversations perfect at all times. But really, that’s crazy.

My entire life I have personally struggled with perfectionism, and I would be lying right now if I didn’t admit that it is a daily struggle for me. It’s hard not to get caught up in perfectionism when so much around us is constantly screaming at us to “Be perfect!”

Since grade school and all the way up to grad school, it’s been all about getting the perfect grades- because the perfect grades are what will land you the perfect job, right? And of course you have to look perfect as well, so you will have the perfect social life with tons of friends and the perfect guy. Sounds perfect, right?

But guess what, as hard as I tried everything wasn’t always perfect in my life. Sure, I made great grades, and tried as hard as I could to look the part of what society portrayed as the “perfect” image, but at the end of the day everything wasn’t perfect because I’m not perfect, and the fact that I ever believed it would be was crazy in itself.

Because let’s be real for a minute and I’ll go ahead and state the obvious- no one is perfect. Yep, no one. Not me, not you, and not anyone that will ever walk this earth. We are all human and we all make mistakes- on a daily basis as a matter of fact.

And now as an adult, I’ve thankfully come to the realization that it is 100% okay to not be perfect. In a world where perfectionism and image is so incredibly emphasized, I want you to know that it’s okay not to be perfect, and it shouldn’t be what we strive for.


Because life isn’t perfect. Things most certainly don’t always go according to plan, messes happen, mistakes are made, and disappointments occur.

I think sometimes we get so caught up in looking at what we perceive as others’ “perfect” lives, that we start questioning our own and start focusing on that ugly ten-letter word of comparison. But that word, my friends, is the thief of joy and we need to throw it out the window.

Just because something looks perfect from afar, doesn’t mean that it is, and again we must remind ourselves that nothing and no one is perfect.

People will ask me sometimes how I manage to do it all so perfectly, and let me tell you- I don’t. My hair and makeup most days are minimal and if it would be acceptable I would totally go to work in my pajamas.

If you were to show up to my house unannounced at any given moment during the week, it would look like a bulldozer stormed through it, and more often than not I have 3 piles of laundry laid out on my living room couch, waiting to be folded.

Dinner is most definitely not always Pinterest-worthy, and if my kids had their way-they would eat PB&J sandwiches every night. Oh and my husband and I- most week nights we spend our evenings playing phone tag between his police calls, to get in maybe 5 straight minutes of uninterrupted conversation.

So you see, I definitely don’t have a perfect life, but you know what? I couldn’t be happier. Because my life is real. My life is full of love, laughter, fun, surprise, roadblocks, stressful moments, and sometimes even heartache, but it’s real. It’s real, it’s messy, and it’s the furthest thing from perfect, but it’s wonderful. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.


What are your thoughts on perfectionism? Would you agree that it is completely overrated?

Thanks for stopping by!-Cara

  Linking up with  Wonderful Wednesday, Pin Worthy Wednesday, Wow Me Wednesday, Ladies Collective LinkupThursday Favorite Things, and Think Tank ThursdayFlaunt it Friday, and Pretty Pintastic Party


  1. Hi Cara,

    Thank you for this honest post and for sharing your experience. Since I was a child, I never understood why people want to be perfect. Growing up, I had to struggle with image issues because ” I didn’t” fit with the rest of the children at school.

    I didn’t have the perfect hair, expensive clothes and money every weekend to go on trips. Then the big realization came! People are struggling to perfect their outer world so as to cover their inner one.

    What I mean by that? A girl who has too much makeup, wants the perfect hair and expensive clothes it is because she wants to hide her insecurities. How would she feel without makeup if you told her to go out on a date? What would she be with casual clothes?

    Thank you for this mind provoking post! Have a wonderful day!


    1. Glad you enjoyed it! I definitely agree with you, most of the time people try to hide their own insecurities because they are under constant pressure to be perfect. But at the end of the day, we’re all human and we all fall short and make mistakes. We should just be the best we can be, and enjoy living our lives. πŸ™‚

  2. Cara,

    This is a lovely post and it’s oh-so-true! I’ve chosen this as one of my featured faves from last week’s Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop. I will be featuring your post on my Thursday post.


    1. I agree, Heather! I don’t think any of us want to look back on life thinking wow I wish I would have just had more fun and stopped worrying so much. Trying to really focus on living and letting go <3

  3. Girl it is so hard when you have all these ‘perfect’ bloggers. That’s why i just do me and only me. I only want to impress myself and go wow I did that! Hand clap!!
    xo, Jessica || The Petite Diaries

  4. Kara well said, my mom always had the perfect house and that’s all I remember. When we had our babies, they came first, everything else could wait. Someone told us when we had Alec enjoy every moment because they grow up way to fast well they were right he is married now and Allison is a senior. But I know they remember us playing, watching Disney channel going outside and they won’t remember us not being able to because we had to have a perfect house, etc. I love a place where you can come in put your feet up and feel at home not going to a place where you have to watch your every move afraid you will mess up something. Life is to short to try to have perfect, kids grow up, people pass on and you realize I should have spent more time with them instead of trying to be perfect. Dishes, laundry, etc can always wait, but time won’t. I love my messy hair, no make-up, sweatpants evenings and weekends, LOL. Great blog sista xoxoxo

    1. Well, said Mitzi and I couldn’t agree more! Thanks for reading my blog, I truly appreciate it πŸ™‚

  5. What a perfect time for me to read this!!!! I just wrote, today, about how I want to have all my goals done all at once. I put a lot of pressure on myself to work toward perfection and it doesn’t have to be that way.

    Such an amazing message today, thank you soooo much!

    1. Thank-you, I’m so glad you found it helpful! I put a lot of pressure on myself too when it comes to deadlines, and it’s just crazy to think that we can do everything- we’re not robots, we’re human. We just have to focus on living our lives a day at a time and doing the best we can πŸ™‚

  6. Oh I can totally relate to this, I am a recovering perfectionist – also know as a mother! I think messy children help you to appreciate imperfect beauty in all it’s forms.

    1. I think you’re right! No matter if your child has peanut butter smeared all over their face or just spilled something all over the couch, you still love them regardless. We must learn to apply that same belief to ourselves and not be so hard on each other! Thank-you! πŸ™‚

  7. I love this, and I agree 100%. So much of the time we focus on being perfect (myself included) that the beauty of life escapes us. Messy is beautiful, and generally that’s where the good stuff is πŸ™‚

  8. I *love* your point here that perfectionism does NOT equate to happiness! Sometimes, I really think happiness comes from the most imperfect moments…realizing that even in all of their imperfection, they’re just still perfect to and for YOU. They’re needed to help us grow and realize the good and the bad, and they’re just right. THAT, in and of itself, is perfect.

    Coming Up Roses

  9. This has been on my mind too! My friends and I are all recent college grads, and as the media and everyone knows, it’s a hard time to be this age. I keep reminding my friends and myself that doing our best and being good people is what matters, perfection doesn’t. Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

    – Hannah,

    1. That’s great advice to give your friends, Hannah. And as a workforce development professional- employers don’t look for perfect, but rather they look for someone who will be a good fit for their company. Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  10. Earlier this evening my husband and I were talking about this very subject. Here in Mexican paradise (Puerto Vallarta) things are not always perfect. But there are many American and Canadian expats here who complain about so many things – most of them small. When someone looks for flaws they’re guaranteed to find them. But when you’re not looking for flaws all you’ll see is beauty. I love that you are living your life authentically, toys strewn about, meals that aren’t always Pinterest worthy, and baskets of laundry waiting to be done. It’s life. It’s real. And it’s beautiful. πŸ™‚

  11. So, so true. Having a child has really woken me up to this fact, and I’m glad it has! It’s easier to enjoy this way πŸ™‚

  12. Wow Cara what a powerful post! This is so poignant and true. I think we get caught up in seeing others living life so “perfectly,” that we often forget we are only seeing their “good” stuff. Everyone has deep struggles and although some have easier lives than others, we still all go through pain in our own ways. I think the fact you notice this and you are happy with what you have is so important!

    1. Thank-you! That’s so true, Jennifer and why it’s so important to just be thankful for what we have and focus on our own selves instead of living our life in comparison mode. πŸ™‚

  13. I definitely think perfectionism is overrated… and it’s impossible to achieve! Even when I have tried to strive for perfection I haven’t come close. And that’s okay. πŸ™‚

  14. AMEN! I love this so much. I struggle with perfectionism, too, and some days it is stifling. Jason is messy and it nearly pushes me over the edge every day! But I’m getting a little better as I get older… Thank you for sharing this today as it’s been a rough “perfectionist” week for me!

    1. Thank-you! Haha my husband is the same way- when he cooks for me, as nice of a gesture it is, all I’m thinking the whole time is what a disaster zone the kitchen is going to be, but I’ve had to learn to live with it and let go. πŸ™‚

  15. Cara, this was such an amazing post to read because I completely relate to this–and definitely needed to read this post today. Life isn’t perfect and it doesn’t have to be in order to be wonderful. I feel like friends especially have this idea that my life is “perfect,” but that’s simply not the case. I think social media doesn’t help the cause because we are constantly looking at Pinterest-worthy dinners and Instagram-worthy outfits–so we feel that those are reflections of perfection.

    1. Aw, I’m so glad you could relate to this and enjoyed reading it! You are definitely right social media and the media period doesn’t help in learning that everything doesn’t have to be “perfect”, but at the end of the day we just have to remind ourselves nobody is perfect, we all have flaws and make mistakes but it makes us who we are. πŸ™‚

  16. We are a sum of our imperfections. We love our flaws at the Dollhouse. We are our own kind of perfect.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that it’s a struggle for you as well. The best thing to do is to just simply remind yourself that nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes, and as long as we focus on learning from those mistakes we’ll be just fine πŸ™‚

  17. This is so true! I don’t want to have a perfect life, but it is hard to not get caught up in it when you are constantly looking at other situations that someone would perceive as “perfect”. The truth is that people only show their best sides. They don’t (most of the time…..) go on social media and complain about how rotten their life is. They show the good stuff and if that is all we see then of course we think it is perfect, but it’s not. Everyone has some aspect of their life that isn’t perfect and that is just fine.

    1. That’s so true, Ashley and I agree! As much as I struggle with it, I don’t want a perfect life either, because how boring would that be?

  18. We never expected you to be perfect growing up. You will make mistakes and the biggest thing is to try and learn from your mistakes and forgive and love and go on. Love you Cara . Always proud of you and your family.

  19. I am so with you girl! I hate that society expects perfection in everything, makes it so hard. I think that’s why I’m enjoying the social media platforms like Snapchat that allows for the imperfections to be shown.

    1. Thanks! I still haven’t jumped on that bandwagon, maybe because I’m still unsure of what it really is-haha πŸ˜‰

  20. I sometimes struggle with perfectionism too and think that in our society, it’s hard to show our flaws or vulnerability. Great post πŸ™‚

    1. Thank-you and that’s very true, Katie. It’s almost like being vulnerable is a sign of weakness, when in reality I feel like it shows that we’re brave. πŸ™‚

  21. I’m not a perfectionist so this has not been a lifelong struggle for me. I want to be as close to perfect as possible in very few areas and the main one is work, but even there I know it’s not possible to not screw up. We’re human. It happens. It’s not the end of the world.

    I’m all about that real life! I know you have one even when I don’t see it. I honestly don’t get why people gripe over seeing a cleaned up view of people’s lives on social media. Just because you don’t show me your ugly parts doesn’t mean I think you don’t have them! We all do!

    Great post!

    1. Thank-you! That’s a great perspective, Steph. I think the whole social media thing in general sometimes just has to do with people’s personal standards. I for one being a clean-freak would not want to show a photo of my dirty dishes, but trust me it happens every day-haha. But I’m trying really hard to learn that stuff happens and life would be boring if things were always so squeaky clean and there were never any bumps in the road.

  22. I couldn’t love this more. I have always been very hard on myself from a young age, expecting MYSELF to be 110% at all times. In my adult life, it’s led me to anxiety issues and some being diagnosed with slight OCD. I don’t know where I got it from or why it started. I am learning to let loose a little more and realizing it can’t all be done in a day, and it’s okay. I’m learning to make more memories and enjoy every second rather than worrying about if the dishwasher has been ran and if laundry is done ALL THE TIME. This post really spoke to me, thank you for this!

    1. Aw, I’m so glad you can relate. πŸ™‚ It really is a daily struggle and sometimes I think more than anything I’m way too hard on myself. I hope we all can learn to live and let go, and realize that life is meant to be enjoyed and not meant to spend every waking moment obsessing over whether or not something is perfect.

  23. Perfectionism is a daily struggle for me too. Since when was it ok to feel like doing the best we can isn’t enough? This is a great post Cara – exactly what I needed today xoxo

    1. Thank-you! πŸ™‚ It’s crazy that we are so hard on ourselves, and we really need to ourselves some slack, I think.

  24. I think we learn and grow in our challenges. If everything was perfect all the time, I would not have the stories of triumph I do today. Great post!

  25. I’ve never been a perfectionist but I have felt like I have never done enough business-wise….I’ve had a few small businesses, now my blog, and I never feel like I am doing enough in the right direction.

    1. I think sometimes we are too hard on ourselves, and I know I personally am. I’m really bad to talk myself out of something before I even try it too. I think we have to learn to be brave and have confidence in ourselves and our abilities, and although none of us are perfect we are capable of more than we think we are. πŸ™‚

  26. I really feel like through our own cracks and fissures others can learn. There is a reason none of us are perfect. Thoughtful piece!

  27. Such a great read! I’ve strugged with this over the years and had to learn that no matter how hard I try to make my life perfect, it’s out of my hands!

    1. Thank-you! That’s a great way to look at it, Greta! There’s so many things we can’t control, so it’s pointless for us to stress about it.

  28. Love this!!! I too sometimes struggle to be as perfect as possible. I always do my hair and make up no matter how I feel that day. I feel that if I go without looking presentable I will get judged. This has been something I have done since I was in junior high. Over the years I have realized that not every woman is going to look perfect and always have their hair and make up done. Because lets face it there are days I want to put my hair in a pony tail, wear sweats and have no make up on. I think society makes us feel like we have to be perfect all the time. It’s insane and it sucks. As you said no one is perfect. So let’s just be happy with ourselves and not give a crap about what others think. What we think is what truly counts.

    1. Thank-you! & well said, Mistle! I used to be the same way before I had kids but then one day I went out in public without makeup and realized no one cared and even if they did, I no longer did & have embraced the freedom ever since-haha

  29. I struggle with this as well! It’s funny because doing capsule wardrobes (that’s what my blog is about) has been the number one thing that has taught me to be okay with being less than perfect. Living with less really points out your inadequacies, but in a strangely good way. I’ve learned that the areas where I’m not perfect are actually the areas that make me human. πŸ™‚

    1. Wow, that’s so interesting Karin. πŸ™‚ I love your blog and the focus on doing capsule wardrobes and living a more minimalist lifestyle. I’ve been spring cleaning and trying to downsize a lot of my wardrobe and it really is a de-stressor to have less to deal with.

    1. Thank-you! I am too, and I think that’s the biggest problem for me is I’m a perfectionist in all aspects of my life work, home, and blogging, which then results in a ton of unnecessary stress. Nobody can do it all, and nobody is perfect. That’s the new motto I keep telling myself. πŸ™‚

  30. I love this so much! I’ve really found that in my own life, striving for perfection can quickly suck the happiness out of something.

    1. Thank-you! That’s so true, Chelsea and it’s no way to live. Who wants to live their life completely unhappy because they’re so focused on something that’s completely unattainable in the first place. Learning to live and let go is a biggie for me.

  31. This is such a great post and one that hits home to me! I’ve struggled with being a perfectionist my whole life, and now am finally learning that it’s okay to let go of things and the idea of doing everything perfect!

    xo, Kristina

    1. Thanks Kristina! So glad you could relate to this! It’s such a wonderful realization once we finally can acknowledge that it’s okay to not be perfect. Something I need to remind myself of often. πŸ™‚

  32. What a wonderful, vulnerable post! So perfect and needed of today. I really struggle with perfectionism and like you, I had nearly perfect grades my entire life. I’ve come to realize that it’s not my accomplishments that define me- it’s how I live my life according to my beliefs and values!

    1. Thanks Chelsea! As a perfectionist this was a really vulnerable post for me, and as I said it’s a daily battle. Thankfully my husband is a great support system and he constantly reminds me that it’s okay to just live and let go, and that’s so helpful. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank-you! It’s a daily struggle for me as well, but I think it’s extremely important to remind ourselves that no one is perfect and we shouldn’t focus so much on it. πŸ™‚

  33. You spoke right to my soul with this one! I struggle with perfectionism every day. Thank you for the reminder that our lives will never be perfect, but they are beautifully messy and unique!

    1. Thank-you! So glad you could relate to this and that you enjoyed it. That’s a great way to put it πŸ™‚

  34. Love this post.
    I think the older I get, the more I dont care about showing my non-perfect ways – & wish more people didn’t care about it. With social media, we have all these staged pictures & pictures that we take 20 to get one… we need more of the dirt on the floor pictures in this world πŸ™‚ I’ll take care of those – ok? πŸ™‚ haha

    1. Thanks! I so agree with you! I think everyone would be much happier too if they weren’t always so focused and overwhelmed with trying to be like others and what society deems as “perfect”.

  35. I can totally relate to you and am happy you’re speaking out about this! I am certain you will connect with sooooo many readers. I have pretty much gotten past the worst of my insecurities, but as a high school teacher, I see this all the time.

  36. Ugh I’m a perfectionist and it’s so overwhelming. I think I’ve gotten better though.. I wish I just did it to impress others because then it might be easier to give things up, but in reality, I get frustrated with myself when everything isn’t perfect!

    1. That’s my problem too Jacquelyn. I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to perfectionism, but thankfully my husband does a great job at helping me keep it in check and reminds me when I’m going overboard.

  37. You nailed this sweet girl and that is coming from a Type A perfectionist and I needed this today!! Thank you

  38. I agree, no one is perfect. I think we feel it even moreso now because of how much social media is out there. It plays a roll because people (usually) don’t post the messy parts of life. They post the happy, picture-perfect stuff, and it makes it look like that life is perfect. And then people get that envy and want to be perfect just like that.
    It’s almost like a competition.
    I know when we have had friends who divorced or something people always say “but they always looked so happy in their photos”, but how often do people take photos in the middle of a fight? I think social media has played a HUGE role in this endless search for perfection for sure

    1. That’s so true, Jenn! It does feel like a competition, and that’s a shame because life shouldn’t be that way.

  39. It’s weird, I’m a perfectionist but I don’t strive to be perfect myself. I always have to remind myself that no one is perfect and everyone has their own issues so it’s important to be thankful for what we have! Great post girl! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

    1. Thank-you! The struggle is real for me because I’m a type A clean freak when it comes to stuff but as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned not everything has to be just right all the time and it’s silly to set that expectation.

  40. Such a great post and so true! We all need a little reminder every now and then that everything doesn’t have to be perfect, and that’s ok!

  41. I love this! So very much! It speaks pure truth! I have to remind myself constantly that I do not have to be perfect! Now that I have let go my idea of perfect and perfection and I’ve found some comfort in my goofy self!!!

    1. Exactly! It’s such a relief once we all can finally come to terms with the fact that nobody’s perfect and learn to embrace ourselves for the way we are. πŸ™‚

  42. You are correct, nobody is perfect and never will be. Doesn’t mean we have failed. I am very happy with the life I have, doesn’t mean there are ups and downs,just adds spice to life.

  43. In my opinion, perfectionism is boring and overrated anyways!!! You are right though, society is constantly obsessed with everything having to be just so. I think social media has just put even more of an emphasis on that because most people only share their “perfect” staged moments.

    1. I completely agree, Nadine! People don’t want to share real photos anymore only the “picture perfect” ones, and it’s a shame.

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