Measuring Up // The Pressure of Perfection


It’s a Tuesday in February. A husband and wife are at home after work. The wife is making dinner. The husband tries to help. The husband makes an unnecessary mess. The wife explodes. Her somewhat tidy kitchen no longer resembles anything tidy. Then she realizes something. Continue reading to find out.

It’s a pretty well known fact at this point that as women, we are bombarded everyday with the image we are to uphold. Thin waist, big boobs, perfect skin, perfect hair, perfect nails. Satisfied husband, spotless home, prestigious job, soccer mom… and the list goes on and on.

Believe me when I say, I do in fact feel the pressure. However, a week or two ago I realized that no one around me is piling on that pressure. I have taken the job description of a woman in her mid-twenties from the world and applied the pressure myself. I would like to blame the media – real, fake, and social – but that would be a complete cop out. I control what I watch. I control when and how often I get on social media sites. I control what I read.

You might say, “Well, we can’t avoid all forms of media and pop culture and still survive in today’s society.” And I completely agree. It would be very tedious to even attempt that feat. However, I do think that we need to check in with our heart and soul when we start feeling this pressure to be a certain way.

You might have already guessed it, but the opening paragraph of this article describes a very real situation that occurred at my house just a few weeks ago. I realized in that moment that I was getting very frustrated with my husband for derailing my path to kitchen cleanliness perfection. To be honest, my kitchen wasn’t even that clean before said mess. Digging even deeper, I realized that the mess made me feel as though I wasn’t measuring up as a wife. My husband never set that expectation. It was all me. I unleashed some serious wrath on him for preventing me from meeting an expectation that he wasn’t even aware of.

I have always struggled with the pursuit of perfection, and I am taking a wild guess that a lot of you have, as well. If so, you are in luck. I have been thinking of strategies to help me unload the pressure and get back to center where I can love and live to the very fullest.

Stategies to Unload the Pressure of Perfection

  1. Check in with yourself.
    Like I mentioned above, when you start to feel like you aren’t measuring up, check in on your heart. Where is that expectation or measuring stick coming from? If it’s from the world, it’s not truth, and it’s not possible to meet that expectation.

  2. Take a break.
    If the media or social media or a certain person is making you feel as though you aren’t measuring up to unrealistic or worldly expectations, take a break from them. A social media fast can do a soul some good.

  3. Speak truth.
    God’s Word is truth. Speak it to yourself when you hear the enemy say, “You aren’t measuring up.”

     “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

  4. Talk it out.
    When these thoughts start creeping in, bring them to the light with a friend, spouse, or mentor. Just saying it out loud can bring freedom from the bondage of the pressure of perfection.

Do you ever struggle with pursuing perfection in worldly things? How do you overcome it?

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