You Are Not Perfect
“You are not perfect.”
Oof… that hurts, right?
If you were viscerally affected by this quote it means that it hit home in some way. If you have even a small sense of perfectionism and would like to develop beyond that mind frame, the good news is that you have options. Developing beyond this limiting belief can give you a more robust sense of wellbeing and acceptance of your scenario, and provide you with more calm in the chaos. To go even further, by letting go of perfectionism, we actually begin to perform better at work, and in life in general.
The reason we often feel terrible when we come to grips with our lack of perfection is something called “cognitive dissonance” which is defined as: “the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.”
Cognitive dissonance usually rears its ugly head when you are stuck between two opposing desires. Here is a good example: you are on a diet, but grandma baked your favorite pie. Now you do not know which of your morals to follow. Another scenario when it pops up is when you are attempting something positively impossible. The reason this applies to perfectionism is because…. Yup, you guessed it... It is positively impossible.
One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection simply doesn't exist.....Without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist”
― Stephen Hawking
You experience this sensation because you are not living true to your nature as a human being. You are human, and with that comes with a whole slew of imperfections, flaws, and shortcomings. From Gandhi to Mother Teresa, to your favorite basketball star, everyone has something they have had to deal with, or they are currently dealing with.
The bottom line is that perfection is not possible because we are human. If you are someone who strives for perfection and that desire (or need for it) causes you stress, there are ways that we can approach dealing with this sensation, all of which deal with changing your perspective.
In this mind game, perspective is the playing field. Since this is a bit of a heady topic, no matter how you spin it, we will have to change our minds about how we think about perfection. Let’s dive in!
“The key to happiness is letting go of that idea of perfection.”
Our opinions are our own, and we can change them. This may be difficult depending on the opinion, but it is always possible. The first step is to logically pick apart what “perfection” means to you. Perfection is defined as “the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects.”
If you change your perspective to denounce what you believe to be a flaw, and instead, accept it as a part of something’s beauty or your own beauty, you have already begun the process of accepting your humanity.
The Japanese have an aesthetic, and a belief system called “Wabi-Sabi” that embraces this belief completely. It is the understanding that nothing is flawless or permanent and that there is inherent beauty in that fact. It highlights that these “flaws” are in fact an instance of uniqueness. The flaws are what makes something special. In many instances you will see a painting or a piece of pottery made in the Wabi-Sabi style that looks raw, flawed, or incomplete. This is purposeful. If you want to take a deeper dive into Wabi-Sabi ←-- Click here.
“The words were born separately and referred to different things. Wabi originally described the loneliness of living in nature, far from society; sabi meant lean or withered, a flower past its bloom. But during the 14th century, the two words began to take on more positive meanings, with wabi describing the more positive aspects of living alone in nature: a quiet, rustic simplicity. Sabi, on the other hand, began to find beauty in old age, in a weathered character, focusing instead on the serenity that can come with time, when inevitable wear becomes a patina, and scars become signs of experience.”
Dropping away from the idea of perfectionism not only takes a MASSIVE weight off your shoulders, but it also brings you closer to what it means to be human. It brings you closer towards loving yourself and enjoying every single moment that life has to offer.
I hope some fresh perspective has helped! Don’t forget to take a deep breath and enjoy the ride.
Carpe freaking Diem, my friends!
I am a life coach in the Boulder/Denver area, and offer phone/zoom coaching sessions. I also offer free consultations, so if you want to learn more, click HERE to get in touch.
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