THE BLOG
08/20/2013 06:02 pm ET Updated Oct 20, 2013

Jill of All Trades, Mistress of None

During the last 40 years or so, we women have been told that "we can have it all." We can always look great, run errands with ease, balance family and work seamlessly, throw fantastic parties, have decorator homes and never miss a beat in being fashionable and in the know. But while you and I may admire the women we see in the media or read about who seem to be able to do it all, we also have a certain dislike for them and have thought, "I can't do it all. Is there something wrong with me?"

Actually there's nothing wrong with "imperfect" you. What you don't know is that the "perfect" woman runs her "perfect" life at great expense. The expense isn't monetary, but if you try to do the same, it will become a personal cost to you in terms of stress. You will pay with both your physical and emotional health, and the cost gets higher as the years go on.

You cannot do it all and do all of it well. When an executive of a high-powered corporation was asked if she thought the modern woman of the 21st century could have it all, and all at once, she replied, "Oh, no. Something has to give. You can't be good at everything all the time. You need to focus on one area where you excel and even then, be prepared for less than perfect. Having it all is a Madison Avenue myth."

She is right. Your job, your creativity, your family and your own peace of mind will suffer if you try to do it all. The commercials and the magazine ads all contribute to the myth of what we should have. You can bet good money that the models in the media don't really have it all. It is all a grand illusion. By expecting to have it all and all at once, you can end up having nothing at all.

What you can have are times where you are happily successful in one area and doing okay in another one. A good example of this is a career surge where you have just about everything running smoothly. Your personal life, while still good, might be taking a back seat for a while. That vacation you want or a move to a new place will have to wait just for a bit. Turn about is bound to come when your career takes a smaller role in your life while your personal goals become more prominent. You get to take that trip to Bermuda, the move to the house or apartment you wanted does occur. Balance and harmony in all areas of your life definitely at the same time but not perfection.

Perfection may be an ideal that is pushed on us by the media (everyone and everything looks fantastic, every time, all the time), but it is an impossible goal and one you shouldn't even try to achieve. Attempting to have a life that has no messes in it is an impossibility.

The woman who tries to have every single thing in her life run smoothly on well-greased wheels is the woman most likely to break down emotionally, and eventually physically. The more she does the more she will do because perfection becomes an obsession. To reduce stress many women begin self-medicating, either with prescription drugs or alcohol. They are not happy because they are always seeking the next level of perfection. They can't let anyone down even though they are certainly letting themselves down. It is an exhausting never-ending quest.

So perfection is actually a hindrance to your search for a happy life. You live your days forever anticipating and never getting to enjoy what you've already done and what you have in your life now. Perfection is never satisfied. There's always more to do.

What's the worst that can happen if you're not perfect? Nothing! You'll survive and you'll be healthier, too. Try being a little imperfect, it's so good for you. By not trying to be perfect in all ways to all people, you are doing yourself a huge favor. A little messiness in your life is actually good for you. You are human, you will make mistakes, you will not get everything done and you will survive quite nicely. That's reality and that's good.

You can't and shouldn't control everything. Life is messy. You can't control it. Isn't it a relief to know that some things are out of your direct control? You can't control the weather or unexpected delays no matter how good your plans are. No one should try to control everything. There are bound to be upsets and imperfections. Even a so-called "perfect diamond" has a tiny flaw in it somewhere. That is nature and that is life.

Simple statement -- my game, my rules. Your life is the game and your choices in how you live it are the rules. You can bend the rules a little bit for different situations but you shouldn't bend them so much that they break. You can also change the rules as you go along but keep in mind that the rules you create are there to benefit your well-being. Don't change them so much they become unrecognizable.

Remove the need to be the perfect woman, remove a self-imposed burden. Constantly trying to be perfect means never achieving satisfaction in any area of your life. See yourself in reality. You're not superwoman and the great thing is you don't need to be. Doing what you can with what you have is perfection enough.

© 2013 copyright Kristen Houghton

Read the just released Welcome to Hell by Kristen Houghton. An Amazon Kindle Best.

"And Then I'll Be Happy! Stop Sabotaging Your Happiness and Put Your Own Life First" ranked in the top 100 books by Tower Books.com

Kristen Houghton is the author of the hilarious book, No Woman Diets Alone -- There's Always a Man Behind Her Eating a Doughnut in the top 10 hot new releases at Amazon available now on Kindle, Nook, and all e-book venues.

You may email her at kch@kristenhoughton.com.

For more by Kristen Houghton, click here.

For more on success and motivation, click here.