By: Nikki Nies
Perfection is a double edge sword. It’s a great marker for success as well as a guide to where one is in relation to meeting a standard. However, if one always has an insatiable need to be perfect, it can be exhausting. In a world where comparison and competition is inevitable, how easy it is to get sucked into other’s opinions and expectations of you.
I’ll admit, I’m a perfectionist. However, I wouldn’t be where I am today without my drive to succeed and perfectionist tendencies. They say it’s a problem when a habit or mindset interferes or hinders everyday life. I used to think perfectionism was a good mindset, but I’m slowly learning how destructive it can be. Perfection is actually unattainable.
I’ll never forget my high school English teacher never gave 100’s. It always irked me that the highest grade she’d give was 95, which totally bumped my average to a middle A. She always explained there’s always room for growth and that perfection is never achieved. I’m slowly learning that doing one’s best should be the ultimate goal, not unattainable perfection.
So let me segue into my praise of the Proud2BMe campaign. With my development of helping those with eating disorders, I have become an advocate for the National Eating Disorders Association. As many know, many disorders stem from an attempt to gain control, lack of self esteem and/or poor body image. I am lucky enough that I have not suffered with an eating disorder, but I still find the Proud2BMe campaign very relatable and relevant.
Think about it, of the 7 billion people c0habiting this Earth, no one else is exactly like you. Not only has your DNA made you who you are, but no one’s experiences are going to be exactly likes yours and that is what makes you. So, embrace it.
My lowest when I was so ashamed of what I looked like. Growing up in a predominantly Caucasian neighborhood as one of the only Chinese Americans wasn’t easy. I’m so grateful I was adopted at the age of 3, but having white parents was hard for me to physically relate to them. Children can be cruel and they were so quick to point out my flat nose and squinty eyes. To this day, people make comments. I’ve learned because it’s easier to point out differences than to try to find a common ground. I’m trying to take a more proactive role by educating people the politically correct way to refer to certain cultural terms, but I sometimes I feel like people don’t see me for “me”, but a cute Asian girl. You don’t know how many times I’ve been called cute.
I’m not here to divulge in self pity, but to tell you I’m in a better place than I was. Embracing my inner qualities has really improved my outlook on life. Everyone has a certain extent of body distortion. I have never met someone who was completely happy with their physical stature. If there is someone out there, can you let us in your secret? A while ago, I was told to get a brown paper bag and right all my strengths. You know those days you’re feeling bad about yourself? I have more of those than I’d like to admit, but I always just think about the small things I’m grateful for. I have so much to offer this world and I know there are some less fortunate than I am.
My perfectionist tendencies are still a work in progress, but who doesn’t have flaws? Reading about others struggles with varying expectations from their selves and others alleviates some of the high standards I try to adhere to. Proud2BMe provides information on eating disorders, body image, perfectionism, expert advice, recovery and information for parents. It’s so user friendly the stories that people have been kind enough to share really show that you’re not alone.
Proud2BMe is a great resource so check out the campaign! What’re you waiting for!?