Last night, one of my friends (who also happens to be a blogger) sent me a link to a video and told me to watch it. I think she used the words “powerful” when she was describing the video. So I sat down, pulled up the link and I watched this girl speak right to my heart. Here was a YouTuber who had over two million followers and was making the choice to STOP making videos. As I watched her speak about her struggles, I kept thinking to myself “THIS IS ME!” After watching that video, I decided that enough was enough and I wanted to talk about what happens when being a perfectionist becomes too much.
Maybe it’s just me, but I know there has to be other people out there who struggle with being a perfectionist. Now for me, I realized how bad it was when I start blogging. Funny how doing something you love so much can also be terrible for your mental health. It’s true though. I struggle when I photograph, when I edit, when I create videos and even when I decide what brands to feature. Everything about the whole blogging process has made my issues worse at one time or another. It’s not that it’s so out of control that I need to stop blogging, but it’s more of being aware of my issues and finding ways to make myself realize that I can’t be perfect all of the time.
A typical situation that can spark my issues would be a day like this morning. I was working on a photo shoot for some upcoming posts and I probably took over a hundred photos and deleted all of them. Started over again and hated those as well. I’ve filmed YouTube videos and still have them sitting in my dashboard, marked private because I still don’t think they’re good enough. I’ve done fashion posts that I’ve never posted because I don’t like the way I was posing or something. We all have bad days and for me, my issues go beyond just having a bad day. I criticize everything and that makes it almost impossible on some days to work. I criticize things that you probably wouldn’t even notice, but to me, they’re so bad that I just can’t leave it alone until I get it right.
In my profession as a full-time blogger, I’m surrounded by some creative geniuses whose work inspires me. At the same time, I obsess over trying to get my own work to a similar level. Recently I read an interview about a blogger who I am in awe of. Her work is incredible. Her social media skills, her photography, her writing is just beyond amazing to me. Funny thing is, what I didn’t realize until I read this interview is that this girl isn’t doing this on her own. She has a team of at least fifteen to twenty people helping her. Well no wonder she can do it all! So that was an important lesson to myself. This whole time I was trying to get my work on the same level as hers, trying to perfect my craft, only to realize that she has a lot of help. Here on Simply Stine, it’s just me. I can only do so much sometimes… #LessonLearned
Being perfect isn’t that I want to be better than anyone. It’s that I put crazy high standards on myself and my work. You might read a post that seems short and sweet, but I probably spent a whole two days putting it together by the time I’m done writing it and editing it. I want you, as a reader, to always be impressed with Simply Stine and the work that I’m doing. I want you to keep coming back for more. I think most bloggers would agree with me when I say that we set standards for ourselves that are so high, that sometimes we can’t reach the goals that we make for ourselves. #BloggerFail
Being a perfectionist is hella stressful. I get irritated with myself because I know what I’m doing to myself when I act this way, it’s just that I can’t control it sometimes. #LifeHappens and the idea of being “perfect” isn’t healthy. In fact, being “perfect” will never happen because no one is perfect.
I am starting to work on myself. I’m starting to make sure that I realize that these unrealistic expectation aren’t healthy. I have to understand that there will always be other people who I look up to and admire, but I won’t ever be able to be “as good as them” because I’m not them. I’m me. This brand that I’ve created has gotten this far because of the person that I am and the work that I do. It’s ok to keep improving my skills, but trying to force myself to edit the way twenty people who work on a magazine would, isn’t realistic. Trying to force myself to be perfect, look perfect and act perfect is insane. To be honest, I don’t even know what the “perfect” version of myself would be…..
If you ever feel like you suffer from being a perfectionist, know that you aren’t alone. Know that I personally understand the struggle that you deal with daily. I have no idea why I became this way, but it happened. I think the most important step is to admit that there’s an issue. Even something as simple as writing this post is slightly terrifying because y’all will know that I have flaws, ha. That’s important to me though because maybe, just maybe, there is someone reading this post who looks up to me and I want to be honest and admit that I struggle too!
I don’t want to be like the girl in the video who had to give up doing what she loved because she drove herself crazy trying to be “perfect.” I want to the the girl who conquered her issues and did the best that she could! We’re all a work in progress and my life is no different than anyone else. I just struggle a little bit more here and there. That’s something we can all relate to.
Julie May says
I used to be this way about everything in my life. From trying to keep my home emacaculately clean and perfect all the time to trying to be better at my job than all of my co workers. And I kind of got to the same sort of point but where I was driving myself insane trying to be perfect at everything. Now, I am almost the polar opposite. I realize that my blog and photos aren’t the best. But I do try and put a lot of effort into them. And my thought process now is, if someone likes me then they will read my blog regardless of how well I write or how good my photos look. Girl u are an AMAZING BLOGGER AND PHOTOGRAPHER! I can only wish to be as good as you. So just know u ARE GOOD ENOUGH! And to some of us, u ARE PERFECTION! Thanks for sharing such a personal story here though. I love when people are so raw and let their readers “in.” Love u girl!!!
Christine C. says
Thank you so much for the thoughtful comments. I open up and share my story because of people like you! I think my perfectionist ways got worse in the past couple of years and I’m slowly starting to notice it more and more. I honestly don’t want to be like this so I’m working on ways of improving myself and my habits!!! PS Your blog is incredible and so is your YouTube channel!!!
Leanna @ Being Leanna says
So glad you’re working on things! Trying to be a perfectionist really takes its toll. I love reading your blog and seeing your videos and I think they’re all great. It really shows that you put a lot of time and effort and that you care a lot about your work. It’s one of the big reasons I stick around. I can tell how dedicated you are. <3
I am not a perfectionist but when it comes to my blog I never feel like its good enough. Thanks for sharing your story!
This is such an amazing post, Christine! I am not a perfectionist at all, but I am when it comes to my blog. I have gotten a lot better about putting so much stress on myself in the last few weeks. It is a tough process, though. Our blogs are like our babies. They are an extension of ourselves in a way, so we want them to be the best we can make them. People outside of the blogging world don’t get how much work it is, but it really is a job! You are such an amazing blogger and photographer, and you have become a source of inspiration for me. I am glad you are working on things and I think a lot of people will really appreciate this post. <3
Kate Wagner says
As a blogger I know how hard it can be to open up about your issues to the public! I appreciate your honesty. And honestly, it kind of makes me feel better when I read about other bloggers’ personal issues. Not because it makes me feel good! But because I can almost always relate to those issues as a blogger, and it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one struggling. I don’t think I struggle with perfectionism quite as hard as you or the vlogger that you mentioned, but I do sometimes go through phases where I feel like nothing I can do is good enough. If my soft box were bigger, if my lamps were nicer, if my camera were better, if my macro lens was better, if I liked the sound of my own voice (that’s legit the reason I never to tutorial videos!), etc etc etc.