By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Hi...my name is Erika, and I am a recovering perfectionist.
Phew, glad I got that off my chest. I used to wear my perfectionism like a pretty little badge; I was proud to be a perfectionist. Turns out, perfectionism left unchecked can be a very negative force in your life. The honest truth is that nothing is ever perfect; there are always improvements that can be made (and that’s a good thing!).
Like many deeply ingrained personality traits, perfectionism never really goes away. Rather, a better strategy is to learn how to manage it. Know what one of the biggest feeders to a perfectionist is, DreamChaser? Social media! I am grateful that Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram were not popular when I planned my wedding or had my first baby; I had way more Pinterest fails than successes, and the highlight reel of social media would have gotten to me.
Having perfectionist tendencies shifts you to wanting to be the best, do the best, have the best. When that hasn’t been attained or you see someone’s highlight reel that bested your efforts, that naughty little perfectionist voice starts talking in your ear. Without systems in check, social media can feed into the perfectionism cycle of self-doubt, fear to start or try something new, and negative self-talk.
To help you with this balancing act, I want to share 5 tips on how to walk the social media tightrope. From one recovering perfectionist to another, these have been crucial for me to keep social media light, fun, and helpful.
1. Keep Perspective
You’ve heard the term “pin-worthy” or, more recently, “insta-worthy”, right? The meaning behind these are the same, post only to social what appears beautiful or perfect. This is the highlight reel at it’s finest, showing the big wins and not the struggles in between. It isn’t fair to compare your start or middle to someone else’s finish line.
2. Cultivate your Feed
You have control of who you follow. Take back control of your feed by cultivating it to the positive. Follow people and pages that bring you joy and boost the positivity, rather than those that feed into your negativity and perfectionism. See other people’s successes as the evidence that you can do it too instead of feeding into self-doubt and negative self-talk.
3. Keep It Real
It can be both easy and tempting to cultivate your own highlights-only reel. Try a little twist by keeping the reel real. What do I mean? Share your failures and struggles as well as your successes and wins, or, better yet how you pushed through a struggle to get the win. That will not only be encouraging to others but also will remind you how far you have come.
4. Set Limitations
Limiting your time on social media is a great practice on many levels. Setting a limit on how long you are on social media serves the dual purpose of minimizing time wasted and negativity exposure that could cause a perfectionism flare-up.
5. Scroll with Intentionality & Mindfulness
Instead of mindlessly scrolling, use intention to go to the feeds that boost your happiness factor. Be mindful of how you are feeling as you are scrolling; if you start noticing negative feelings creeping in, that means it’s time to stop or scroll elsewhere.
When all else fails, it’s time to break up. It’s not you, Social Media, it’s me. My perfectionism can’t handle it so I need a break to live my best life full out. Chances are, you won’t miss social media nearly as much as you think you will. You got this, DreamChaser! Shine on!
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.