Effortless Perfectionism

Effortless Perfection

I’ve been hearing this word a lot lately from my university age students. They tell me they are exhausted with working to be “effortless.” What does this really mean? It’s a term that describes the pressure to be brilliant, accomplished, in great shape, beautiful and popular – all while showing no effort at all!

“Effortless Perfection” leads to anxiety, depression, eating disorders and significant decreases in self-esteem. If often starts in high school where students look to be accepted and part of a specific group. It becomes more intense in college where the environment is highly competitive.

Combating "Effortless Perfection" symptoms involves recognizing and challenging these unrealistic standards. It’s not about erasing high standards but distinguishing between unattainable perfection and healthy goals of achievement.

Susan Cain, the author of “Bittersweet,” says when she went to Princeton she was always in awe of the students around her. She thought they had it all in place and knew where they were going. When she went to write her latest book she went back to her alumna, to research, and asked the students how they were faring. She was surprised to hear the majority say they struggled with “effortless perfection.” Specific details of her interviews with the students are not provided in the search results but she shares tidbits with Brene Brown in her podcast ‘Unlocking Us.’  What she uncovered was shocking. She details that the results of “Effortless Perfectionism” played out in multiple suicides by students who two days prior to taking their lives, had posted Instagram posts surrounded by all their friends in what would seem like a perfect state. Introverts, she says, were impacted greatly as they often felt pressured to adapt to extroverted norms.

If you or one you love is suffering from “Effortless Perfectionism,” step back and breathe. Take a moment to recognize how unrealistic standards are and challenge them. Is everyone as happy as that latest Instagram post. How long did someone pose for that post? Could there be happenings behind the scenes of those in the post you may not be aware of? It’s not about eradicating high standards and the desire to live a happy life, it’s about distinguishing between unattainable perfection and setting healthy goals for yourself. 

A Reiki session helps to calm the anxiety brought on by the imposter syndrome, your feelings of inadequacy and desire to have it all, be it all. It grounds you in the present moment to rest. And, often truly feel your value. Sonja, a self professed overachieving Real Estate Agent says before she started regular Reiki sessions and meditation she let the negative feelings get in the way of sales. “Often I would talk myself out of going for a sale before I even stepped out the door. I spent so long on my appearance before a meet and greet that I would arrive late and flustered. Thanks to Reiki and the tools provided, I was better grounded, calmer and really happier. Thanks Let it go with REIKI for paying my mortgage this month and then some!”

It's important to acknowledge that perfection isn’t attainable and be happy in the present moment. By setting realistic goals and celebrating your small achievements as well as practicing self-compassion and Reiki self-care you can combat the “Effortless Perfectionism” blues.

Social Media often portrays an idealized version of life; the perfectly posted photos and flawless faces showcase ideal lives. But one has to remember users tend to share only the best aspects of their lives – successes, smiling kids without tantrums, no pimples or wrinkle lines. The comparison game leads to feelings of inadequacy and anxiety that you are not where you are suppose to be. And, honestly, where is that? You are exactly where you are to be right now and I’m so thankful it’s here on my page! The mundane and challenging aspects of our lives make us real, beautiful and glamorous! Yes, glamorous. I truly believe the Mom I saw at Marilu’s today handling her little’s temper tantrum with grace and kindness was beautiful. Authentic, genuine, healthy engagement is what you look for on social media. Don’t fall for the curated flash that makes you feel less than you are. Check us out @letitgowithreiki on our social channels.

Reiki isn’t a one-size-fit-all “cure” for effortless perfection but the modality along with Self-Care can help you provide a healthier environment for yourself.

We are here to help with in-person and long-distance Reiki sessions. If you’re a struggling student, Email calah@letitgowithreiki.com with your school and graduating date for a free session.