Tame The ‘PERFECTIONISM’ Beast In A World Dominated By The Very Idea
Perfection itself is imperfection- Vladimir Horowitz
I firmly believed…
“With this, I hope I have been able to prove to you that I am not a perfectionist” This was my well-constructed argument in this debate, I said to myself.
My opponent being no other than my very self presented me with hardcore facts, facts that couldn’t be denied. I stood out in my first year of university with a perfect 110 percent score, where did the extra 10 percent come from? This was the cherry on top of the icing from our professor to students to make up for the unavoidable distractions that came with the construction work going on nearby. Approximately 140 students and none could join me to savor the feeling of getting a score of 110, the obvious reason being that I, ladies and gentlemen, was the only one to achieve that mark. And yet, I felt I should have done better.
Taking just one step into the world of perfection means taking 1000 more! It is never enough.
Sit back and relax while I share another experience. On my special day which was my wedding day, I took every precaution to make it special by planning it myself. Yes, I did that. But even then, I was still unsatisfied with the little flaws I observed a complete opposite to the way people felt about the ceremony. Many said they were pleased and had the best experience ever.
My weight was also another aspect I struggled with, despite having shed thirty pounds and being close to pushing the lower boundary of the normal weight, I was not okay with this, still seeing myself as overweight.
The idea of the perfect body society promotes and enchanting voices that have been influenced by the studio effect to attain the perfect note skimmed my thoughts.
There are many that struggle with this demon as well.
You only see what you are looking for, so if you keep digging for flaws in yourself that is what you get!
You can be better, you are yet to achieve your maximum potential, put in more effort... all these words infiltrate our minds over and over again. Even motivational speakers, spiritual guides, and social influences push us to that constant state of yearning, searching for that perfect state.
To achieve that absolute state we push ourselves to do more, be more patient, smarter, work harder and do better in every aspect because we strive to be just as perfect as we are told we have to be. This has been integrated into our thinking process even as children. The need to get perfect test scores. Religious responsibilities also demand more devotion, more god-like attributes, and characters. The pressure is from every side.
The truth we try to avoid is:
- No one is perfect
- We do not determine the sway of life.
Life is not a film we direct, following script and plots. Immersing ourselves in the notion that things have to be perfect gives way for uncertainties that cast a shadow over our lives.
Everyone around us will be scrutinized through our ‘perfect eyes’, the more you push yourself towards being the ideal human being you picture, you tend to have more things to correct about yourself. Why? Nothing and no one is good enough, not even yourself.
Then, you fall short and undermine what you deserve as a person, the respect, care, love, and happiness you deserve.
The imperfections we run from are a stark reminder of the battles we have concerned, and the growth we have attained in life. They are not to make us feel like losers.
The pursuit of perfection often impedes improvement- George Will
It took years of multiple experiences for me to realize that I can never be without flaws rather I AM SUFFICIENT JUST AS I AM.
I have gone through the path of self-hate, being obsessive over everything including my wedding day, to having three beautiful children who are perfectly imperfect. All these add up to make me who I am today, teaching me that life does not have to be PERFECT.
This took me down the path to discover the 80/20 rule. It means we should concentrate on the 80 percent aspect which is acceptable, not stressing about the other 20 percent that usually drains the energy out of us and drives us to moments of obsession to be perfect.
For those who are used to achieving over and beyond this would be like settling for scraps but you can teach yourself, consciously remind yourself that it is okay to have 80%.
The artist who aims at perfection in everything achieves it in nothing- Eugene Delacroix
Freeing yourself from the clutches of doubt, anxiety, and restrictions allows you to be alright with your mistakes, and accept the flaws that may come with life. It also gives room for growth, the freedom to fly, be happy, and be whoever you want to be.
Jason Mclennan gives more insight into this when he talks about ¾ theory in his book Zugunruhe. He talks about the ability to be open to help from others when we have attained a certain stage in any event or project. Allowing other minds to contribute is what makes things special, and allows for learning and expansion.
No man is an island, we should be humble enough to admit we need help. Perfection fights against this. When we try to be in total control. That is never the best path to take.
Presently I have decided, everything does not have to follow my perfect script, I cannot control it all.
My flaws are a part of me just like my shadow is, I have learned to embrace it and accept the change, growth, and surprises life brings. Everyone around me does not have to walk on eggshells and live up to a certain perfect standard, I have to take them for who they are.
Those minimal things I always noticed and disliked about my body or way of life I no longer obsess about.
I have made a choice, a choice to love myself and live in the moment, allow life to progress as it should. Stop fighting the process.
Because, I am sufficient as a person, and you reading this are too.