Have you ever been left feeling exhausted by your own unrelenting standards of all the things you “need to be” and “should be” doing? From what you should look like, to what grades you should get, to how organised you need to be… perfectionism can show up in many different places in your life. And it often leaves us feeling deflated, not good enough and just plain miserable!
Accepting that failure is a natural and normal part of human existence, and learning ways in which you can be more flexible day to day is a super important part of maintaining a balanced, happy and healthy life for us perfectionists.
If you want to read up more on perfectionism, ReachOut Australia has some amazing community forums and threads specifically on perfectionism which you can checkout here.
As part of our New Year, Same You campaign, we chatted to former Bachelor contestant and perfectionist herself Keira Maguire.
Keira spoke to us on our podcast, After 20, about her life after being aired as the ‘villan’ on her season after The Bachelor, what it felt like to be scrutinised by the whole of Australia, how her perfectionist tendencies pop up in her everyday life and what she does to keep her mental health in check alongside her full-time job as an influencer.
You can check out our conversation by listening here or reading on below!
As someone who has been in the spotlight for so long I understand it must be pretty hard to open up and share your challenges with mental health with your followers. How has it been after gaining such a big following so quickly and how has it impacted your mental health?
I think initially when I first left the first season of The Bachelor, that was when I was affected the most. Going into reality TV, you don't know what to expect especially back in those days. It isn't the same as it is today and where people are going on solely to gain an Instagram following. When I went on, it wasn’t really a thing. When I left there was a period where I was quite severely affected and didn't leave the house because I was actually traumatised from the experience. I had no control over my life, and I'm such control freak. Giving all that power away to producers and a network was something I really struggled with.
But when it comes to social media, obviously I am so different than I was with my 10K followers that I had around the time I went on The Bachelor. I would say something and not even care about it, but now everything is very thought out. I will avoid doing anything where I think someone will say something negative to me because it affects me so much and I don't want to put myself in a position for that to happen.
Would you say that you are someone that has struggled with perfectionist tendencies for as long as you can remember, or has this been more of a recent struggle for you?
The way I am today, and I don't know if its because of Instagram, but the things I post today compared to 2 years ago, are definitely much more thought out from the filters, the colours, the background and I guess that is something that has definitely happened over time. I think Instagram has definitely contributed to it a lot.
Do you find there are any times in particular where this issue flares up for you? Any specific day to day scenarios?
Going through Covid in Victoria, we were in lockdown for a long time so it really did affect my mental health and especially because I work from home. When your job is social media you have to sit there looking at yourself all day. For example when I have sent something off to a client I can't help but think “I hate what I look like”, so I will try to push my content back to the day of because if I have time to dwell I will pick at every little thing wrong with it and get myself into this funk because of my perfectionist tendencies.
Where do you go or what do you do to improve your mental wellbeing? When you are feeling like you need a boost, what are the top things you go to do?
The thing is, like everyone I go through stages of emotions where we can self isolate or be really down on ourselves, but I have one of those personalities where when I'm down it doesn't last long and I can get myself out of that funk.
I find the thing that helps me is getting up and starting my day with something active like a walk or talking to someone that I really enjoy talking to. I find that my sister or my niece always puts me in a good mood. I will always position myself in front of things that are going to make me happy. Some days I won’t post for 5 days because if I am in a bad state of mind I don't want to send that energy out.
Having positive affirmations is another thing that helps me! On a full moon I will scrap my old affirmations and then I will rewrite them. And things like my tbh sticker that says ‘you look cute today’ and having those reminders everywhere in your house are just really good. It's not just how and what you are thinking, it's also what you are surrounding yourself with.
If you want to hear more from Keira make sure you check out our interview with her here on After 20.
And don’t forget, for the entire month of January, tbh Skincare is donating 10% of all revenue to ReachOut Australia to support the mental health of young Australians.
If you wish to shop our positive affirmation mirror decal, click here.