Do you try to be perfect? To get it right? To not get it wrong? Do you strive to do things the way you are supposed to in order to feel good enough?
Many of us have the point of view that we have to be perfect. If our parents required perfection, if our teachers compared us to other students or always pointed out where we were wrong, if our friends made fun of the things we did, we may have bought into the idea that perfection is what is required.
People often think that striving for perfection is beneficial – that it somehow makes you better. It’s actually not true. Perfectionism is very damaging. Perfectionism puts us in a constant state of judgment; always trying to be good enough while believing that we are not, always trying to feel ok about ourselves while believing we are wrong.
What if you didn’t have to be perfect? What if you could simply be you? What if being you makes you far greater than all of the striving of trying to get it right?
No matter how long you’ve been stuck in the perfection trap, you can change it by using these three tools:
- When you notice that you are judging you – STOP
You CAN stop judging you. It is possible and it begins with a choice.
The moment you notice that you are judging you, imagine a stop sign or a hand in front of you. That stop sign or hand is your reminder to stop judging. Now, ask this question, “What’s right about me that I’m not getting?” The moment you ask this question, the judgment dissipates and you start to perceive the gift of you rather than the wrongness of you.
- Greatness Not Perfection
The idea that seeking perfection makes us better is not true. Seeking perfection keeps us in the self-perpetuating cycle of never enough; never right enough, never good enough, never successful enough. No matter how good you are, it’s never enough.
Instead of striving for perfection, let’s strive for greatness. In greatness, you allow yourself to be greater than you were yesterday and you don’t judge you for not being enough. In greatness, you recognize that the “mistakes” you make actually contribute to you being greater today than you were yesterday. In greatness, you see that every choice you have ever made has created the person that you are today.
Perfection is the judgment of you. Greatness is the gift of you that includes all of you and judges none of you. Choose greatness.
- Start Living Your Life Now
Where are you limiting you? Are there places in your life that you say, “When this happens, then I can do this…”? For example, “When I lose weight, then I can date.” Or, “When I get my college degree, then I can have the career I desire.”
When you leave your house, do you wait for all of the stop lights to turn green before you go?” No! You leave the house, you get in the car, you drive and you navigate as you go.
Start to live your life this way. All of the lights may not be green but don’t let that keep you from starting. Start now! Where would you like to go in life? What would you like to do? What would be fun for you to create?
When you aren’t letting perfectionism control you, you can change anything. You don’t have to have it all figured out. Start, choose and navigate along the way.
Ask yourself, “What’s one choice I can make today to start creating the life I desire right away?”
Perfectionism doesn’t exist. Ask anyone who’s ever created a book or a piece of art, built a building, architected a park, it’s never perfect enough. At some point, they simply decided to let it go and to be a gift of creation in the world.
If you will let go of the illusion of perfection, you will lose the judgment of you that will allow you to be the greatness of you because in the greatness of you, there is no judgment, no wrongness and no limitation. In the greatness of you there is ease and joy and the freedom of life and living. It starts with a choice. It starts with a question. What IS right about you that you’re not getting?