What makes us seek perfection?
What is the problem with perfection?
Do we need to aim for perfection?
The problem with perfection for many of us including me is that sometimes our best doesn’t feel good enough.
Personal goals or work targets are beneficial to our well being.
After all, how do we know we’ve achieved our goals if we don’t set targets?
Aspirations give us focus and a sense of purpose and help us strive for things we want in life.
We are frustrated when we set the bar too high and are disappointed when we fail to meet them?
Why then do we strive for perfection when carrying out a task, whether work-related or menial?
I admit to falling into the ‘perfection’ category, but I know I am far from perfect, but I am easily agitated when things don’t go to plan, or I miss a target I set for myself.
It stems from my gymnastic days when we practised and practised until our hands were red raw with blisters.
But that never stopped me or my co-gymnasts from pushing on and trying again.
The problem with perfection
Giving up or being too tired to carry on felt like a failure and a failure I was not.
I was too young to appreciate that things don’t always go as planned or happen the first time around, no matter how hard you try.
Sometimes stepping away and trying another day again is often the wise option.
But sometimes, trying again doesn’t work, and it feels like a knockback.
Do you recognise those days when no matter how hard you try, you can’t make it work?
It’s important to realise that we are not being singled out or picked on. There is no invisible heavy hand holding us down and willing us to fail.
The reality is that we can’t control things that aren’t in our control.
The myriad of productivity and social media apps remind us of our human foibles.
Affected by someone else’s good news and wonder why it’s not your turn to have the same good news.
Comparing yourself to others reminds you where you’re not and how far you have to go. Negative feelings make us believe we are unworthy and jealous.
Why has she got that, and I haven’t?
Set boundaries when we plan goals and not rate our value in terms of productivity and the number of red ticks on the to-do list.
The past two weeks have seen me change my mindset from how much can I cross off on my to-do list to feeling more engaged and passionate about the work I do.
The weekly review in my bullet journal demonstrates that while I may not have completed all my tasks, what I achieve is far more valuable because I have approached those tasks with interest and love what I’m doing.
Quite a different mindset to setting a long list of to-dos, most of which aren’t complete, and I end up feeling like I haven’t achieved anything of value at the end of the week.
Perfection is a myth.
Practice makes perfect in the proper context, such as great musicians, artists, actors, sportsmen, and women.
They practise their craft day in day out to be as close to perfection as is humanly possible.
The word perfection is applied readily in everyday life; perhaps a circumspect approach would be wiser.
If we practice and don’t achieve perfection in what we do, we feel discouraged and disheartened, and over time, we become anxious and self-doubting.
Getting it wrong means that our efforts aren’t perfect but trying to do the best is more important, and somewhere in the middle, we will experience something near to perfection.