I don’t think it’s a label I’d necessarily give myself if it came up in conversation, but lately I’ve been really hard on myself and it’s mainly down to one thing: I don’t feel good enough.
You may or may not have read my previous post in which I mentioned my struggles with anxiety. Well, they’re still as prevalent as ever, but I’m beginning to realise that perhaps I’m putting too much pressure on myself to be flawless in every aspect of my life; I am faced with this constant fear of not being good enough. At work, at home, as a wife, as a friend, as a daughter.
From a young age we’re ‘graded’ on our ability to do something. At school, I coasted by as a ‘not quite popular, but not quite a ‘square’’ girl; fitting somewhere in between the girls who got picked on, and those who picked on them. I got mostly B’s in my GCSE’s – always just a couple of marks away from an ‘A’ and so I walked around with this chip on my shoulder that I was only almost good enough.
When I got to college and began crafting a ‘career’ for myself, I fell into the Carrie Bradshaw trap that a lot of young female writers/fashion lovers did in the 00’s – I thought, hey, I’ll do a degree, start up this little blog, and within a couple of years I’ll be working my way up at Vogue and living in a dreamy apartment with enough money to fund my expensive shoe habit. Carrie did it, so can I!
One of my teachers even wrote in my yearbook that she fully expected to see me as Editor-in-Chief in 10 years’ time. Talk about setting the bar high, Miss!
And where am I, almost ten years later? I’m a writer for a beauty magazine. I have a job title that 10 years ago, I would have seen as so glamorous and exciting. But it isn’t Vogue. Only almost good enough.
When you find yourself in this strange limbo of wanting to be successful, but also not feeling good enough, you end up stuck in quite the rut. You give up before you even try. You set yourself up to fail because you know you won’t meet your own ridiculously high standards.
It wasn’t until this weekend that I realised that there is no such thing as ‘perfect’.
It came to me as I was having a conversation with Rob; he’s just raced one of his dream cars at the Goodwood Members Meeting which is a life-long dream of his. And sure, he’s happy about it, but he’s also a perfectionist and so he found a million things to nitpick about the situation. He didn’t have the right outfit on, he felt too fat compared to the professional drivers, he could have driven around that corner a bit faster.
It’s not until you put yourself in someone else's shoes that it hits you. Some people would absolutely kill to be in that situation. Just like a 15-year-old me would absolutely kill to be in mine. And yet we still strive for better!
We all want what the other girl has; the grass is always greener through an Instagram filter. But you know what? There are things that they want too.
We’re all guilty of making comparisons; God knows it’s easy to feel like you need a new wardrobe, a haircut and a gym membership after 5 minutes’ Instagram scrolling, but sometimes you just need to take a step back, observe yourself from someone else’s perspective, and think, “hey, I’m not doing too bad.”
, by Olivia