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How to deal with perfectionism when you’re not perfect

How to deal with perfectionism when you’re not perfect

Fashion, Life itself

If you’re new to the blog and don’t know me yet, I’ll begin by telling you that I’m a perfectionist and have worked a lot on not being one in order for not letting it take over my everyday life. It’s a good personality trait, but too much perfection can be just that, too much. Despite the title I won’t go into perfectionism in this post as much as I will on one of its side effects, feeling guilty. The feeling of guilt can come from things you both can and cannot affect.

This time around the feelings of immense guilt come from the latter. I’ve been suffering from an intense cold for four days and am still on it. This flu has really incapacitated me and I can’t focus on anything. I’ve slept an average of 18 hours the last few days and when awake I’ve not had the energy to answer emails, return phone calls or even text people. I’ve not been able to work on my day job (which is still on until March 31st) nor my job as a blogger either. That means cancelled photo shoots, delayed blog posts (yup, that’s part of what pays my salary as a blogger), zero engagement on social media. For someone who has the traits of a perfectionist this doesn’t only lead to a feeling of guilt in regards to everyone you let down, but also to a feeling of low self esteem and not being good enough. Imperfection.

This is something I’ve felt before and it’s not different this time, except for the fact that this time around I’m practically immobile and chained to my bed (not literally…). Not being able to fullfil duties and promises made both to myself and others leads up to that immense feeling of guilt and brings me down. It’s not about writers block however, as I never have that, but it’s about not physically nor mentally being strong enough to actually type something down.
This is the closest I’ve felt to those drinking days when I would do nothing else than sit at home drinking, watching whatever’s on TV and sleep. Except this time I don’t even have the joy of being wasted (no worries, one can make fun of oneself after actually having made it through an ordeal like that). After having some immense self pitying moments the last few days I decided I won’t let it get to me. Easier said than done, but I have to realize I’m sick and there’s not much I can do about it except sleep, rest and drink lots of fluids until it’s over. It all comes down to the fact that I’m human and perfection is something that can never be obtained or achieved. You can strive to be as good of a person, friend, lover, employee, athlete etc. as possible, but you’ll never be perfect. Although I’ll never be perfect, I’m one heck of a human being though.

To include some fashion I actually want to introduce a brand that was unknown to me until I got the pleasure of working with them (and excuse me if I’m ignorant to an immensely well known Italian brand, but I can’t keep track of everything, I’m not perfect, remember). I’m talking about Garcia Jeans from where this black denim jacket is from and some browsing on their web page opened up a whole new world in fashion to me, which is somewhat of an immense pleasure. Just like I discovered River Island in London and Pull & Bear in Hamburg before they opened their first stores in Sweden. It’s that feeling of wearing something unique, yet affordable, knowing no one else has a similar piece.

I always do extensive research on brands I work with and basically Garcia Jeans and me share the same philosophy as found on their homepage:

Life is a series of choices. These choices add up to who we are. They determine our character. Stand still. Or fall face first into the unknown. Follow conventional wisdom. Or succeed on your own terms. Play it safe. Or cause a stir. Take what you’re handed. Or design a life you love. Go with the flow. Or take the road less boring. Stick to what you know. Or be open to all that this world has to offer.

That relates well to my latest blog post about doing just that, taking a leap into the unknown. Despite me not knowing the brand before, I bet a lot of you do. If not, you sure can check them out easily as they apart from their web shop have 250 Soft Shops, 75 Shop-in-Shops, 50 Mono-brand Stores and 2000 Multi-brand Stores across the globe. So much for me discovering a new brand…

Denim jacket: Garcia Jeans
eans: Pull & Bear 

Sneakers: H&M

Photographer: Joanna Bladh, Photostory



  1. Natalie @ Passport Out Asia
    Sunday March 5th, 2017 at 05:23 PM

    Obsessed with your color palette! Loving the monochrome look. Perfect as transition pieces. Nice one, Thomas!


  2. Mariann yip
    Sunday March 5th, 2017 at 09:49 PM

    I really admire how open you are in your posts and also love that you do research on brands before deciding to partner with them. I can definitely tell that you have a lot of insight to life and have found yourself over the struggles. Always love reading your thoughtful posts so thank you for sharing! 🙂

  3. Sharon Wu
    Sunday March 5th, 2017 at 09:52 PM

    Ohhhh I can TOTALLY relate to this post. I am a huge perfectionist myself and I think it drives my bf insane sometimes lol!!! So glad to hear that I’m not the only one. P.S. I love your outfit! That jacket looks so trendy and pairs perfectly with those faded grey jeans. xo, sharon

  4. Cece Lam
    Sunday March 5th, 2017 at 10:23 PM

    I hope you feel better, Thomas! I was sick last week and had an intense stomach infection. Keep yourself hydrated and get plenty of rest!!!

  5. Karina
    Sunday March 5th, 2017 at 10:52 PM

    Hey Thomas,
    I think many people are Perfectionist, I am as well, and It was sooo Sooo Hard to Understand that there will be always someone, for I will be Not Enough Good!
    I always put in everything 200% and I am also super Sensitive so People effects me a Lot. It was the hardest thing in my life to Let Go, what others think! Now I can say I still do my best but for myself.
    I cant miss your Look, Loved the Jeans, Looks sooo Comfy:) Love Good Quality Denim:)))
    Love Kisses Open Kloset By Karina
    Happy New Week

  6. MOLLY
    Monday March 6th, 2017 at 01:29 AM

    This is absolutely stunning. As a perfectionist myself I can relate to this post on SOOO many levels! I’m proud of you for continuing to be vulnerable and put yourself out there. Keep rocking at what you do. You look great!

    Keep smiling!
    Molly |

  7. Stephanie
    Monday March 6th, 2017 at 01:32 AM

    Awww hon, I really hope you’re back to 100% very soon! Having that kind of sickness is THE absolute worst in my opinion. I hate feeling like I can’t attend to anything in my life because I’m so stuck to my bed being ill. I’m definitely with you on feeling like I’m such a perfectionist that it sucks even more to be in that position. I always want to be right on time with my deadlines and my shoots and such and it can be so frustrating haha. ANYWAYS I’m glad that you’re trying to be positive about your situation and again I super hope you feel well soon!

    Stephanie //

  8. Jenn Hanft
    Monday March 6th, 2017 at 03:19 AM

    Perfectionism is also a huge struggle I chase as well! It’s so tough to not meet expectations and feel like you’ve let people down…which is one of the reasons why I think I’m also a workaholic hah! But it’s so stressful especially when you can’t give your 100%. I’ve been sick for the past week and it’s literally draining the life of me too. This past weekend I had to cancel all of my plans and stay home, which sucked because NY was sunny (but it felt like -10 degrees) so I couldn’t risk getting even more sick. I do hope you get better!!! And like… pronto! PS love this denim jacket! I love dark denims so this was totally fitting and a nice breath of fresh air. Sending warmth and love your way!


  9. Iliana
    Monday March 6th, 2017 at 04:10 AM

    I love these raw posts, you are always so brave! Thank you for opening us to us and trusting and for the advice <3

  10. Jo
    Monday March 6th, 2017 at 05:24 AM

    We are all perfectionist in a way so you aren’t alone. We all demand a little bit of too much of ourselves, at least in certain areas. Being perfectionist up to a point is actually healthy. I believe your perfectionism helps you to set high standards so that’s why you always produce the best contents for your blog, like this beautiful post! i am sorry you have been so sick for these many days and pray you will be fully recovered very soon, love. Of course I love that perfect style of yours (see you are actually perfect ?), thank you so much for always introducing these awesome brands to us! And I am so grateful for this post, my love.

    With love,

  11. Caitlin
    Monday March 6th, 2017 at 06:26 AM

    Thank you for sharing this!

    Caitlin, Beauty & Colour

  12. Jenelle
    Monday March 6th, 2017 at 07:14 AM

    Perfectionism is both good and bad, it has definitely stood in my way before, and also spurred me on to work harder. Though at the end of the day, I don’t want regrets or limitations that stop me. Being hard on yourself is mean too. We can be our own worst enemies! xx Jenelle

  13. Charissa
    Monday March 6th, 2017 at 08:52 AM

    OMG I’m such a perfectionist myself too. I know it can be hard and such a struggle. It’s like an endless battle with yourself. Just try to relate things sometimes and let yourself make mistakes now and then. You don’t need to be perfect all the time.
    XO Charissa || http://WWW.LADYGOLDAPPLE.COM ||

  14. frank lin
    Monday March 6th, 2017 at 12:46 PM

    Oh Thomas, I can totally feel you.
    I’m really thinking about that whole “You are a blogger 24h a day” thing the last days.
    At the moment I don’t feel any motivation to go on…

  15. Samantha Mariko
    Monday March 6th, 2017 at 01:46 PM

    Thomas, I really hope you are feeling better! I totally understand what you mean.. I was also recently in bed with a fever for 2 nights and I could barely get out of bed and respond to messages and emails. I’m sure you’ll get back onto your feet in no time. I love the philosophy of this brand your introduced, and the jacket looks so good on you!

  16. Josie
    Monday March 6th, 2017 at 04:05 PM

    I somehow relate to this post. I’m a perfectionist but I’m learning to let go and actually embrace the unplanned. I used to freak out when things would not turn out how I’d planned. The main thing to remember here is that we are indeed NOT perfect. When we fail, when things don’t go our way … we are just reminded that we are humans and God is the one in control all the time!

    Love the jacket you’re wearing here. It is so important as bloggers to work with brands we share mutual values with.

    Josie xx |

  17. Kusum
    Monday March 6th, 2017 at 06:43 PM

    You look great for what an insane schedule you have had the past few weeks, Thomas! Its totally ok to take a break and we will all be here for you when you return, but please don’t push yourself too hard and neglect your health (I have seen one too many people do that and ruin their personal lives).

    xx, Kusum |

  18. Agnes
    Monday March 6th, 2017 at 07:00 PM

    Oh Thomas, I hope you feel better soon. Take good care of yourself. Love this look btw, that jacket looks so good on you.

  19. Gina Diaz
    Monday March 6th, 2017 at 08:39 PM

    Hi, Thomas! hope you are doing much better today! I’m a perfectionist, too! and I understand how you feel. Thank you for being so open and sharing. I love this outfit so so much, great styling as always!!!

    Sending lots of sunshine your way!! Xx. Gina

  20. Adelina
    Monday March 6th, 2017 at 09:39 PM

    I love how open you are in your posts! I am the same way, always a perfectionist, but have learned to let things go more because time is valuable! Love that killer jacket on you!

    xx, Adelina

  21. Martin (Ebylife)
    Monday March 6th, 2017 at 10:58 PM

    You touch on a really interesting topic here Thomas. I too suffer from perfectionism from time to time and it drives me absolutely bananas. Great to know I’m not the only one. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and i hope you feel 100% better ASAP!

  22. Lucy Hernandez
    Tuesday March 7th, 2017 at 12:01 AM

    I love that you can have a sense of humor about your past struggles, I imagine it you almost have to right!? And I just recently discovered River Island, love. On trend and affordably is a score!
    Side note, I also struggle with perfectionism and sometimes end up doing more damage because I am paralyzed with making a choice or moving forward. Perfect example; posting anxiety. I over analyze so much I end up not posting anything after staring and editing for 3 hours of my life. Ha! Oh well, know better to do better.


  23. Rachel Vogt
    Tuesday March 7th, 2017 at 12:13 AM

    Such a nice jacket, love the gray tone denim on denim look.

  24. Anthony @oh_anthonio
    Tuesday March 7th, 2017 at 01:11 AM

    Aww don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re allowed to be sick and rest and recover without guilt! Besides, you look great in denim on denim!

  25. Maggie
    Tuesday March 7th, 2017 at 02:08 AM

    Awww I can’t believe you beat yourself up for just being sick. I mean, I know that things don’t get done, but at the same time, you have to rest and I’m glad you came to that realization. Your followers will always understand.

    It’s great that you do extensive research on a brand before working with them. It’s important to work with brands that you whole heartedly believe in!

    Maggie S.

  26. Jo
    Tuesday March 7th, 2017 at 03:32 AM

    Sometimes I think the hardest thing is to do is to be forgiving on oneself. I’m someone who can be very hard on myself so I can relate to a lot of the feelings you wrote about here. Through the years I’ve learned to be more forgiving and accepting of myself, shortcomings and all, but being overly self-critical is still something that rears its ugly head every now and again. Someone once told me that getting physically sick is like your body and mind telling you to slow down a bit, which is totally okay. You can’t do more than you can. Hope you feel better soon! Enjoy this time to put your feet up for a bit 😉

    xoxo, Jo

  27. Lauren
    Tuesday March 7th, 2017 at 04:37 AM

    Perfectionism is such a tough thing to deal with! I’m usually quite hard on myself, but I’ve been trying to go with the flow more recently. Being sick is just the worst. Hope you feel better soon!


    Lauren //

  28. Jennifer Quattrucci
    Tuesday March 7th, 2017 at 01:48 PM

    My Dearest Tommy,
    I am truly so sorry you have been ill but mostly I’m grateful that you did NOT let it get to you and also that you are feeling better!!
    I may be a bit of a perfectionist ( lol, as if you didn’t know ) and also, sadly , not perfect ( as if you didn’t know ) so I can totally and completely relate!
    I absolutely love the Garcia Jean Jacket ! Beautifully styled my darling , and please know , I am always here for you.
    Your Jenny

  29. Bryanna
    Tuesday March 7th, 2017 at 07:26 PM

    Sometimes you win some and some times you lose some. It’s all apart of life, and every once in awhile life beats you at the game. It’s super frustrating, and it doesn’t help that people don’t understand the work that goes into blogger. You’re essentially an entrepreneur with starting your brand. The great thing with this lesson though, is that it makes you stronger. Plus, there nowhere to go but up from there! For example, this killer denim jacket. Seriously, if this doesn’t cure your flu, I don’t know what will. ?

    xoxo Bryanna | Coming in Clutch

  30. EVA
    Tuesday March 7th, 2017 at 07:41 PM

    Omg Thomas It must be very exhausting to feel down and out of energy.
    You should take some B vitamin complex and supplement with ginseng, to get force.
    Your blogger job instead is going very well, maybe some advice I would accept it gladly hehe…
    Get better sweetie

    Tuesday March 7th, 2017 at 09:20 PM

    Aww hang in there buddy! Man flu can be a killer (I have my boyfriend who sometimes is near death because of it)! You look wonderful and definitely no need for perfection – we are all human! Oh and love the brand’s philosophy xx

    Tatyana x

  32. Atsuna Matsui
    Tuesday March 7th, 2017 at 10:47 PM

    I actually face the same struggle with you of being a perfectionist! People perceive it as a good thing.. but there’s a lot of pitfalls that come with it. Fortunately, my boyfriend isn’t a perfectionist and he constantly reminds me to just let go of things, which had really helped me.

  33. Candace
    Wednesday March 8th, 2017 at 02:46 AM

    I am definitely a perfectionist when it comes to my blog pictures and who I select for a photographer, so I can totally relate to this! It doesn’t make it any better that my boyfriend is too and always gets onto me about what I can do better. I guess that’s a good thing though! I hope you feel better, Thomas! I have been missing your posts 🙂

    how to wear crocs to the office

  34. Candace
    Wednesday March 8th, 2017 at 02:52 AM

    I am definitely a perfectionist when it comes to my blog pictures and who I select for a photographer, so I can totally relate to this! It doesn’t make it any better that my boyfriend is too and always gets onto me about what I can do better. I guess that’s a good thing though! I hope you feel better, Thomas! I have been missing your posts 🙂

  35. Eric k
    Wednesday March 8th, 2017 at 05:34 AM

    I exactly know what you are talking about and i think we have a lot of similarities. I haven’t been feeling well as well and been battling this horrible virus, however, just because i don’t like sleeping and sitting home, I go out sick and get distracted. It definitely does not help my perfectionist part, because I’m just not 100%.
    So, long story short my friend, i feel your pain and I really hope you are well now. BTW, your outfit is a killer and i especially love the Jacket . You are the prime example of perfectionist. 🙂

  36. Leila D
    Wednesday March 8th, 2017 at 05:41 AM

    Hi Thomas! I hope you feel better by now. Love the photos and that look suits you so well. Totally can relate to this post and I must say that I also haven’t heard of Garcia Jeans before but I will definitely check them out now. Thanks for introducing us to a brand with a wonderful philosophy ❤️

  37. Laurelle
    Wednesday March 8th, 2017 at 06:27 AM

    Oh my gosh, I can totally relate, as a fellow perfectionist!! I felt the exact same way in January when sick! But I agree, you just have to learn to let it go and be ok with not always being on your A game! It’s ok and needed to rest and take breaks! Hope you feel better soon!

  38. Aleksandra Ladygin
    Wednesday March 8th, 2017 at 02:05 PM

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and introducing this brand -i was waiting your post!
    Of course i know what you are talking about. But i think… we just don’t need to be perfect. We are who we are and should appreciate it. Have a good day my friend!

  39. Danielle
    Wednesday March 8th, 2017 at 02:22 PM

    Totally related to this post as I am a clinically-insane perfectionist myself! It’s hard being us! haha. But in all seriousness, I’ve learned a lot as I’ve gone through my twenties that has taught be that it’s okay for things to sometimes turn out not exactly as you’d planned or hoped for them too. Hope you feel better soon babe!

    xx, Danielle | Pineapple & Prosecco

  40. diana
    Wednesday March 8th, 2017 at 07:54 PM

    I love how personal you get on every single post. It lets us learn more about you and get to know you better. I actually never thought and took the life or myself as a perfect, because nothing is perfect in this world. everyone is unique in his/her own way, but it never hurts to push yourself to be better version if yourself.

  41. Darya
    Wednesday March 8th, 2017 at 11:18 PM

    I wish you a good resting time and take your time for getting better. Health is the most important thing.
    You are really a perfectionist and you have it so good to be an fulltime blogger. I want to do the same but I am studying law beside blogging and that makes everything stressfull.

    Wish you a good restweek dear.


  42. Kristina
    Thursday March 9th, 2017 at 01:52 AM

    I can relate to you in the perfectionism department. Some days it really creeps up on me like a disease, because all of the details in my life are all I can think about… making everything perfect for my family and friends. Making sure I’m getting everything done on time or even before it’s due. But you’re doing great!

  43. Kirsten Wendlandt
    Thursday March 9th, 2017 at 04:43 AM

    What an amazingly inspiring post. I love how open and honest you are. Never change that!

  44. Miki
    Thursday March 9th, 2017 at 05:39 AM

    Thomas, I hope you’re feeling so better now. I used to be so hard on myself always wanting things to be perfect, but in the last couple of years, I’ve learned to work hard and not be so worked out the outcome wasn’t what exactly what I wanted (but honestly, from time to time, I still have a hard time).There’s a wonderful quote that I once read that stuck with me that I think you might like. “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” – Vince Lombardi
    Anyways, love the denim, and great post!


  45. Sharon
    Thursday March 9th, 2017 at 07:40 AM

    Aw, Thomas, I hope you feel better! Do not feel guilty or worried because eventually, you will end up getting your things done and Im sure you will make a great job at doing so! Sometimes, life doesn’t go according to plans and therefore, perfectionism should always be put behind in some way or another! Hope my words can help you feel better a bit!

  46. Jen
    Thursday March 9th, 2017 at 11:27 AM

    OMG we’re like twins. I just posted about being sick too, lol. This flu or bug is out of this world. It has wiped me out completely and thrown off my blogging schedule as well. I don’t think you should be too hard on yourself though. It’s not a reflection of your character or capabilities. I know things get pushed back and delayed, but I want you to take care of yourself first and foremost. People get sick and they will understand that. I hope you are feeling much better now Thomas. I love that jacket on you too!

  47. Dom
    Thursday March 9th, 2017 at 11:40 PM

    Dear, Tommy.
    First of all, i’m sorry you haven’t been feeling well. You of all people know I can relate to that. I bet you knew I would relate to this post too. We don’t need to go into details of my life, you know that already. But what I will say is I agree with everything you said here. I was just telling my other half sometimes the things that make us perfect are unintentional. Sometimes the best way to be perfect is to be imperfect. It makes us have a more interesting story, it gives our lives so much more meaning and depth. So don’t be so hard on yourself Tommy. I’m sorry you haven’t been able to do any of your jobs. But take the breath you need to take and keep making mistakes because the best way to live a “perfect” life is to be imperfect. It makes everything more special. Also Before I go, I love that jeans jacket, gotta tell P to buy me one, lol.
    Hope you are feeling better. Beautiful post Tommy.

  48. Jennifer SavvyGreyStyles
    Friday March 10th, 2017 at 01:47 AM

    I love that jean jacket so sleek! Hope you are starting to feel better. It is so hard to rest when you are sick and have lots to do! Your blog is great.

  49. Linh Dao
    Friday March 10th, 2017 at 02:41 AM

    I am the same way! I am so glad I am not the only one that feels like I have to be a perfectionist in everything! I love this post and your outfit is so nice! as always!


  50. Deddeh Howard
    Friday March 10th, 2017 at 06:36 AM

    Oh no poor thing!! Your area is so cold but I hope you get well soon. By the way, I can totally relate to this post and you look amazing for being sick! ?

  51. Coco
    Friday March 10th, 2017 at 09:46 AM

    Thomas I was taken aback by your words because it was like I’d been reading my own thoughts, just beautifully written. You are a few years younger than me, and we have so much in common that sometimes I feel like you are my younger brother. A brother I would be super proud of. Striving to perfection is very dangerous. It leads to sense of guilt, inadequacy, anxiety, and a huge amount of stress. Over the years I’ve been working on it, and I still feel guilty when I can’t live up to my own expectations as a mom, a wife, a blogger. So, still working on it… I think this flu was your body telling you to slow down. Thanks to this flu you became more aware that you can’t control everything. Nobody can. On the other hand, people suffering from perfectionism may not be perfect, but still exceptional. Your followers and brands you work with don’t expect you to be invincible, and will take into account the amazing job you do every day and won’t even notice you’ve been missing one or two weeks. Because when you do your job you stand out. Speaking of which, I love how you styled denim on denim. And this Garcia jeans jacket is super cool. Keep rocking my stylish friend! Baci, Valeria – Coco et La vie en rose FASHION & BEAUTY

  52. Ria
    Friday March 10th, 2017 at 05:24 PM

    It’s hard out here for a perfectionist haha, sometimes you just have to let it go.

  53. Isidora
    Sunday March 12th, 2017 at 10:34 AM

    Perfection is my middle name. And I have to say it’s hard for me when I communicate with other, they found so hard to get me. Maybe it’s not so good to be perfectionist bc you found disappointment more often.

  54. Luke
    Sunday March 12th, 2017 at 07:11 PM

    I like to think perfection is a individual statement, what is perfect for one person isn’t for the other and that is all because things wrk different for everyone. You just have to be the perfect version of yourself!

  55. samira
    Monday March 13th, 2017 at 06:40 AM

    ahhhh I am such a perfectionist also! and it doesn’t aways help me, because it can lead to disappointment. but that’s just who I am and I alway want to do the best I can!! loved that you shared this, thank you!

    xo, samira

  56. Aimara
    Monday March 13th, 2017 at 04:59 PM

    You look so chic and comfy Thomas!
    Hope you are feeling better now.
    I totally know that feeling when you’re sick and you’re a perfectionist! You feel so helpless and stress for being sick, even though you can’t control it. The best thing to do is what you did, give yourself some grace. There’s not much to do!
    Thanks for sharing!

  57. Vanessa
    Monday March 13th, 2017 at 05:08 PM

    Great post as always! Love the simplicity of your look, totally casual and chic! I agree with you regarding perfection, but I think perfection is relative, who can define it? So our role in life should be do things the best we can!

    Have a nice week!


  58. Sarah
    Monday March 13th, 2017 at 07:05 PM

    Being a perfectionist is just the worse. You are your toughest critic, always remember that. You’re amazing!
    Sarah //

  59. marcy
    Wednesday March 15th, 2017 at 08:31 AM

    We all have a little of perfectionist 🙂 Some more than others than like me hahahah a few months back. Since I began my adventures in Africa this have made me realize we worried so much on things that are not necessary. Imperfection is also beautiful and people appreciated more 🙂


  60. Bernice
    Thursday March 16th, 2017 at 12:34 PM

    Aw Thomas <3 I hope you feel better and find more energy. Seeking perfect is unnecessary, it's all about progress 🙂—from-Michael-Hill

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