In today’s world we are expected to be perfect in all aspects of our lives: our jobs, at home, physically, and the list goes on. We can feel the pressure from society to strive for perfection and to do so without showing any signs of stress or weakness. We work long hours to show our boss we can do anything, and sign up for multiple parent-volunteer positions just to show others we are the perfect mom.

Striving for perfection is one of the quickest routes to unhappiness, because perfection simply doesn’t exist. No one can do everything, and everyone is going to make mistakes along the way. Perfection is an illusion that keeps us in a cycle of disappointment.

All of this constant running around and desire to be perfect is taking away from what is really important in life. What really matters in life – your family, your friends, and your faith – take a backseat when you focus on being perfect. You do not get to pick up on the cute things your kids do when you’re worrying about a big project you have at work the next day. You miss out on connecting on a deeper level with friends when your head is swirling with a never-ending to-do list.

Here are the ways you can embrace everyday moments and stop obsessing with being perfect.

Learn How to Say “No”

It’s understandable that you want to help out in everything. Maybe your child’s school needs a new volunteer, or your work has an extra project they need people for. It is okay to step back and tell others that no, you do not have time to add that to your plate. Learn that managing your time will help you know when to stop working and focus on your home life instead. Even work on knowing when you can’t say yes to your friend for lunch because you already are scheduled for the week.

This doesn’t make you a bad friend, because you wouldn’t be giving them your full attention if you had said yes and gone. You would have given them a poor version of you. Saying no doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, it means that you are committed to giving 100 percent of yourself to what you already have to do. When you give your full attention to each activity, you learn to appreciate them more.

Slow Down

Again, this has to do with time management. Have you gotten yourself completely caught up in the rat race of life and forgotten to take a breather? Know when to slow your roll. Focusing on slow living really will help you make every day moments a priority. When was the last time you looked at the sunset and thought about how pretty it was? When was the last time you took a warm bath and meditated? The biggest reason you are missing out on life’s moments is because you aren’t giving them any attention. Be mindful of your surroundings.

Be Grateful

Sometimes it can be hard to find reasons to be grateful when it feels like the whole world is after you. But even in these moments, there is always something you can be appreciative of. In the little moments of life, you can show appreciation for your child who loves you, the friend that went out of their way to buy you lunch, or simply having a roof over your head. Keep a list of all the things you have in life that you are grateful for and refer back to it when you are stressed, anxious, or worried.

Perfection is simply unattainable. It only creates a cycle of disappointment that you will never be able to get out of. Perfection sets us back and sets us up for failure. Instead, learn how to let go of the need to do everything perfectly and enjoy the little moments in life. When you take time to embrace the small things, you will start to become a happier person.

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