Voltaire says, ‘the perfect is the enemy of the good’. The desire to excel is a very good thing, something to be appreciated. But when it spills over into perfectionism, it can burn you out cause a lot of trouble and of course waste a lot of time. Well, then the key is finding the balance.
Need for perfection ends up controlling you – definitely NOT loving!
The mission to be perfect all the time can be exhausting and will set the critical voices in your head on overdrive. You’re sure to unhappy, when your version of perfection never comes. You’re never satisfied, which means you are rarely completely happy. When you spend your time chasing elusive qualities that never get ‘right’ or trying to ‘fix’ yourself, it’s hard to feel content. Feeling a need to be perfect puts unnecessary pressure on you and keeps you from appreciating all the good stuff you are and you have. This pulls you into a prison of sorts. It keeps you away from loving yourself until you are perfect, which rarely happens.
Only you own the unique you!
Striving for perfection is the biggest roadblocks for building self-love and being happy! Love yourself enough, do things that just okay, give yourself permission to make mistakes and not worry about it – you’re human, it’s okay if you are imperfect. Let go the need to be perfect always, give yourself the freedom to be human and relax.
That’s when mistakes won’t trigger a beating up on yourself session, gaining a pound won’t make you awful, you’ll have less to prove to others and you’ll accept and love yourself more than just enough. Accept your imperfections as part of what makes you special, instead of wasting time stressing yourself with worries about what you do wrong, how you look or things you are not perfect at doing.
Target for excellence, not perfection –
Perfection demands that no matter what you do, it should have no mistakes, no flaws, nothing less than a perfect ‘10’ and no second-best. Tough mandate! Being perfect makes sense with simple tasks, but being a perfect spouse, living perfect life, developing perfect career – sorry, but it just doesn’t fly.
Aim for excellence rather than perfection, in whatever is really important to you. Give an outstanding speech, aim for excellent mark on your test, whip up a delicious meal, establish a satisfying career, grow a first-rate relationship and entomb your desire for perfection. Sometimes you can just do it in a run-of-the-mill manner, it is okay!
You’re a human being, not a human doing!
Make a short and practical to-do list, guarding against including every possible you would like to do and filling up every hour. By doing so you’ll get time to relax without agenda or you’ll give yourself unscheduled time to cope with the unexpected. Focus on your highest priorities.
Quit “Should-ing” Yourself –
‘I should have done that, I should have done this.’ My, how you torture yourself! The word ‘should’ connotes the ‘right’ way to do something, when there is no one to decide what’s ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. With your need for perfection, you would have probably adopted a whole bunch of burdensome and harsh ‘shoulds’. At some point down the lane, you may believe that you have no choice in much of what you do. Well, then substitute the word ‘should’ with ‘could’ and notice what happens. The word ‘could’ carries the mature message that you have the capacity, obligation and right to choose what to do and when to do it. Later, reflecting on potential alternatives, you can then commit without guilt and doubt, to what you think is best.
Welcome the light in –
“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
there is a crack in everything
that’s how the light gets in.”
Though being perfect looks pretty and whole on the outside, in reality is it isolated and dark. When you something that is not perfect, instead of getting self-critical or upset, tell yourself that, ‘it is okay!’ Ease up on yourself. Enjoy the freedom and joy that you do not need to perfect all the time. Give credit to yourself for all you do. Like the crack lets the light in, mistakes sometimes make things more interesting.
So, are you ready to let the light in?