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Embrace Your Little Faults. They Are What Defines You.

Embrace Your Little Faults. They Are What Defines You.

How much of our lives have we dedicated to perfection? The straight A’s, the beach bodies, the perfect scores; the list goes on. Striving towards perfection and then not achieving it can lead to depression, unhealthy mood swings, and self-deprecating doubt. These frustrations pile on, and eventually, a perfectionist may find themselves struggling to accept themselves.

If a person can’t accept who they are, they lose sight of their selves, and then, seek out ways to sculpt who they are supposed to be. I am a straight A student. I am a size zero. I achieved one-hundred percent. Underneath all those titles expressed through accomplishments, who is the person who achieved all those things? They couldn’t have possibly made it through without having made some mistakes and being imperfect in other things. Faults and flaws are what make individuals different from each other.

How Is Perfection Defined

Being a straight A student or wearing a size zero in jeans is by no means an absolute definition of perfection. If those things are considered your goals, then great! Go for it. Work hard to get what you want because there’s nothing wrong with that. But make certain that you are doing it for genuine reasons. It has to be what you want. Not what everyone wants for you and everyone else. Having B’s or C’s or wearing whatever size you wear does not dictate how close or far away you are from perfection. You dictate who you are. Perfection does not define you, and you are not defined by perfection.

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The dictionary defines perfection as “the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects.” The dictionary defines flaw as “a mistake or shortcoming in a plan, theory, or legal document that causes it to fail or reduces its effectiveness.” Was having a B in World History a shortcoming in your plans? Does it reduce your effectiveness as a person? Will you not be able to perform your duties in your daily work and personal lives if you do not nail an A in that class? Maybe it does if you plan to study History in college and you plan to become a professor or a scholar in the field. If so, congratulations! You have a goal! But you will have to make mistakes along the way in order to learn what not to do. That B in World History informed you of what it was that you didn’t know. You’ve made mistakes, leaving you the opportunity to learn.

This is how you grow. Growth is defined as “the process of developing or maturing physically, mentally, or spiritually.” By not being perfect, there is always room to grow. Striving and achieving perfection would infer that there is no more growth needed. You have peaked physically, mentally and spiritually. There is nothing else to satisfy. Nothing to learn. Nothing to do.

Perfection sounds a little boring, doesn’t it?

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Don’t Strive For Perfection. Strive For Balance

Ever gone on an interview and been asked, “Tell us your strengths?” You’d might answer:

  • “I’m great at analyzing!”
  • “I work hard at what I do!”
  • “I’m a kind, loving person!”

These skills are wonderful assets to have. For what the employer is looking for, these could be the keys to getting in the door. But then, the interviewer asks you, “well, what are your weaknesses?”

You stumble. You aren’t sure what to say. You haven’t thought about it much, or you couldn’t come up with anything before the interview. The reality is that what makes us strong can also make us weak.

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  • “I analyze too much and I forget to listen to my instincts, thus second-guessing my conclusions.”
  • “I work too hard. Last year, I was in the hospital because I was stressed and malnourished, and my doctor told me I had to take a week off.”
  • “I’m really nice. I’m so nice that I let people take advantage of me and I don’t say anything because I don’t want to hurt their feelings.”

And that’s okay. While you were trying to become better at problem-solving, elevating your work ethic, and sustaining your virtues, you might not have realized that trying to do too much of one thing can be a bad thing. It’s important to work towards becoming better at those things, but it’s also important to accept that you are human and that your strengths aren’t always going to be consistent. Don’t strive for perfection, strive for balance, and you may find peace within yourself.

Accept that you could be better at something, but where you are now is where you’re supposed to be. Trust yourself, believe in yourself, and allow yourself to be you. Forcing yourself to be something more can be disastrous for your personal and work life, and your health.

If Someone Was Perfect, They’d Be A Robot

Ideas of perfection, whether they be of our intangible attributes or our bodies, are social constructs that dictate expectations and standards. Comparisons are often drawn to categorize people. That’s what our minds do: organize the chaos. But if everyone was expected to look or behave a certain way, we’d all look and behave the same. As obvious of a statement as that may seem, it’s not so widely conceded.

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People come in all shapes, sizes and colors. They hold their own beliefs and morals, aspirations and fears. Their experiences are their own, and no one ever experiences precisely the same life as the other. Everyone makes mistakes and have blemishes and faults. These elements cannot be manufactured. As a result, the standards dictated by social constructs are irrelevant. Everyone is different, and that is okay.

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Kyle Hiller

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Last Updated on June 24, 2019

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

Social Media Could Lead to Depression

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

• low self-esteem,

• negative self-talk,

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• a low mood,

• irritability,

• a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

• and social withdrawal.

If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

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Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

Why We Need to Take This Seriously

Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

Advice on Social Media Use

Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

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One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

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Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

Reference

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