When the Search for Perfection Becomes Too Much, Do This

Aleks Slijepcevic
4 min readAug 31, 2018


The Journal Garden | Vera Bitterer on Unsplash

Every single day is an opportunity to show up to your life. Does this sound familiar?

Once I pay off my credit cards, I’ll start taking better care of myself

Once this passes, I’ll make more time for myself

Once I get this down, I’ll apply for this position or role

Once. Once. Once. By creating these rules, we’re not only living our life in the future tense, but we’re also running away from the one true realization: we want perfection. Before we buy that outfit that we love so much, we ought to lose ten pounds. Before we start teaching a class, we ought to get our life in perfect shape so that people see that we can practice what we preach. Before we ask for help for our depression, we ought to fix ourselves so that our therapist doesn’t think we’ve hit rock bottom. In all of our deepest desires, we envision having something only if we welcome it once we’re already the happiest, best version of ourselves. Anything less than that doesn’t deserve our goals and desires. And this is what we subconsciously think and then manifest into our reality.

I wrote something a while ago on a Facebook post. It struck me in a time in my own life where this was a personal reminder.

You are not always going to be OK. You are not always going to wake up and love your life, or have solutions to every problem. Some days are going to feel like a crippled crawl, and you’ll feel guilty for not being able to give to others what they expect of you. Stop. You are your OWN FIRST PRIORITY, above all else. Even if you struggle every single day to get through your darkness, know this — you showed up to your life. Tattered and torn, exhausted and beat up, you showed up. And there’s not one ounce of me that doesn’t believe that makes you a goddamn warrior.


Guilt keeps us shackled. So does perfection. It becomes this carrot on a stick that we chase because we think, once we obtain it, doors will open magically to the best life we could have hoped for. But life doesn’t work that way. In fact, what I’ve learned is that if life did work that way, it wouldn’t make us stronger.

Even when you think you’re so far from progress, stop and look around

You’re still going. Every day, you wake up and continue living. You go to work or you go to school, or you show up to some function in your life. And you may not show up happy, and you may feel like you’re dragging a ton of bricks behind you, but you showed up. And I think that’s what life wants from us — to show up, no matter how beaten we look or feel.

Because that’s when we show up honestly, consciously, and genuinely

There is no perfection when we’re struggling. There are no fake smiles or perfect schedules or bodies to show off. When we show up to life, ragged to the bone and barely holding our shit together, we show up as honest, real people, with real lives to make sense of. We bring our mess to the table, and spill its contents like a week-old purse; and there is nothing else there than pure, conscious honesty — hey, world; this is me.

When life becomes too much, show up and let it take you

Driving every decision in your life will burn you out. It will leave you sidelined and wrecked, until you’ve exhausted your desire to trust anyone out there telling you it gets easier. People like me, for instance. So let Life take you, once in a while. Let Life lead you and your mess. And then let it surprise you; because we are not meant to lose anything! No game to forfeit, nothing to give up on. We don’t own anything in this world, other than our right to show up. There is a wonderful quote that I like to remind myself of, when I forget who I am. I always tear up just a bit when I read this. Maybe that means I know innately that it’s true.

I hope it pulls you to remember, as well.



Aleks Slijepcevic

Writer | Meditation Teacher on Insight Timer | Traveler | Tracker of Meaning (www.aleksslijepcevic.com)