Wellness Wednesday || Avoiding The Perfection Trap

“She was BEAUTIFUL, but not like those girls in the magazines. She was beautiful, for the way she thought. She was beautiful, for the SPARKLE in her eyes when she talked about something she loved. She was beautiful, for her ability to make other people smile, even if she was sad. No, she wasn’t beautiful for something as temporary as her looks. She was beautiful, deep down to her soul.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald 

I had a general concept of what I wanted to write about today, but was having a hard time formulating exactly what I wanted to say. I occasionally save quotes I come across on instagram, and when I was perusing through them this afternoon, I came across this one and the ideas started to come together…..

Lately, I’ve been chatting with TJ about the “perfection” that seems to be everywhere…. and to be honest, it’s sometimes hard not to compare… and then inevitably feel like crap. So when I posted a photo, and was criticized by several people for not having a fresh new pedicure, it stung. At one point in the evening, I had to excuse myself from the table (we were out with my parents) to have a small cry in the bathroom. When I returned, and chatted a little about my frustrations, everyone had something to add to the conversation that had nothing to do with physical beauty….

 I get asked all the time about how to manage bodily insecurities, or if I have any of my own. My answer to the latter is, “yes, of course!” I was too afraid to get my wisdom teeth removed (hate needles), so they overcrowd my bottom gum line which makes my bottom teeth slightly crooked…. you can always see it on my instastories…. I have very visible veins on the side of my head (I used to get made fun of for them), which is why I rarely wear my hair up in photos…. I have obvious dark circles under my eyes….  I sometimes go several months without changing my pedicure color (sue me…)… I still have a little pooch in my lower ab area from carrying a baby…. and sometimes I find that my nose is a little too pointy (thanks dad….)….

But here’s the thing. They most certainly don’t define who I am as a person… and I have no intention of doing anything about them. They are what make me who I am. And someday, as the quote says, they won’t matter because they will all be covered by wrinkles. Physical beauty is temporary…..

And while I care about how I present myself (which is why I pretty much follow the same basic make-up routine daily and follow this same hair routine) and love to feel put together in casual and practical ways (which is what I try to share in my fashion posts), what really makes someone beautiful is much deeper than that. It’s how they make others feel. What they’re passionate about. What makes them cry. What makes them laugh. What sets their soul on fire…. all the meaningful aspects of life create true beauty within a person…..

I love my family and friends fiercely…  I’d rather have a small handful of meaningful relationships than loads of acquaintances… so I give those relationships all I have. Watching the joy on my daughter’s face is one of the easiest ways to turn a bad day around….  A good glass (or two) of wine, stretchy pants, John Mayor Pandora station, and an evening spent on the couch with TJ make any stressful week better… I am passionate about encouraging others to live their life in balanced ways… to take care of themselves… and to feel their best… Running can set my mind straight every time (#RunnersHigh)…. I love being surprised, but can’t handle the wait (which is why it’s almost impossible to surprise me…), I’m slightly pessimistic (I call it realistic…. TJ calls it pessimistic….), and I’m stubborn. I can pretty much cry at anything… I’m super sensitive… which also makes me pretty attune to how others are feeling too….

We all have a list like that. A list that makes them much more than the the number on the scale (which I encourage you to stay away from!), the bag that they carry, the size of their jeans, color of their hair, and the smoothness of their skin. A list like that is the antidote to feeling the need to appear perfect. I encourage you to put one together. Memorize it, and own it!

Today I chose to share one photo in this blog post. It was taken yesterday, immediately after a SoulCycle date with TJ, and after I devoured some avocado toast. No makeup, sweaty hair, and definitely not “perfect” by certain terms… and what most might even deem “not up to par for a blog post.” You know what though, it was right after one of my favorite workouts (SoulCycle always sets a good tone to the day) and I was alone with TJ (something that doesn’t happen often). I was happy…. and in the end, that’s the message I hope to convey to little miss one day. To live her life, embrace herself, and own her list of what makes her uniquely, beautifully, herself.

(jacket above)



  1. autumn says:

    I love seeing a blogger post something real life once in a while. Not everyone can look “perfect” all the time. I would never have noticed undone nails or toes.

    • Shannon Pulsifer says:

      Thank you Autumn! No one can look perfect all the time and to be honest, I can’t even fathom pulling myself together all the time…. too much pressure! Thank you for your encouragement!!

  2. Rachel says:

    I don’t usually take the time to comment on blog posts. But I had to comment on this one. Thank you for being so real. Your beauty shines inside and out and you are one of my most favorite bloggers out there for that reason. Your authenticity with your posts is why your blog is the only blog page I visit daily. I appreciate your vulnerability with this post, and I think that photo of you is one of your best. Thanks for continuing to share real content with your readers and for staying true to who you are. As a school psychologist, I tell this to myself often when I have a student saying cruel things to me or when they are being aggressive “Its not about me, it never is.”

    • Shannon Pulsifer says:

      Hi Rachel! Thank you so very very much for your kind and encouraging words! They mean a lot to me and I am so appreciative! I completely agree with you, that “it’s not about me, it never is….” and feel so sad that people feel that bad about themselves to be so mean to others. You have such a great message for your students/kids at school… they’re lucky to have you as their school psychologist… especially in this day! Have a wonderful weekend!!

  3. Carly says:

    Love this!! Thank you for the reminder.

  4. Thank you so much for this real and vulnerable post! I’ve also been struggling with perfection and comparing myself to others (esp on instagram) and it was refreshing to read this.

    • Shannon Pulsifer says:

      Yes, it can be very hard, especially on instagram! I find it’s so important to remember that people only share the best of the best, and to compare our “everyday” to that will only set us up for failure! We are all unique and beautiful in our own ways!

  5. Such a great post, one of my favorites for sure! Such a great reminder and couldn’t be more true. Love everything you said.

    • Shannon Pulsifer says:

      Thank you Lydia! I am so glad that you liked it! I think we all need a reminder that no one is perfect and to embrace our imperfections!

  6. Vicki Jones says:

    Awesome post! Very well said. You are absolutely precious and I love following along.

  7. SUCH a great blog post! Thanks for being so open and honest with such an important reminder. There is NO perfect in life- we do the best we can! And I agree that any negative comments are never about who they are intended for- the problem lies within those who are negative. Thank you!!

    • Shannon Pulsifer says:

      Thank you so much Lynn for your kind words! I agree that there is NO perfect in life… and the pursuit of it will only lead to feeling negative about yourself! We have to learn to embrace our imperfections and see them as unique aspects of who we are!

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