Being Perfectly Imperfect
Is there anything wrong with wanting to be perfect? Simply answered: True perfection doesn’t exist.
Imagine if we were all perfect. We would do all the right things all the time. We would all be rich or at least have what we need. We would all look the same. We would all know how to play the piano or be great at baseball. We would all excel at the same subjects in school. While it sounds like it would be great if it were true, how boring would life be if this were the case?
Our imperfections make our journey interesting and notable. It makes us strive for goals and gives us a reason to live. We stay curious because we are not perfect. This means we will continually seek knowledge and try to discover new and interesting facets of life.
It’s the misconception of complete and perfect control that seems to lure so many in. The truth is, perfectionists aren’t actually trying to be perfect. They are in fact just trying not to mess up. Tread carefully: the perfectionist’s ego can be quite delicate. It is their belief that if they are perfect, no one can criticize, put down or hurt them.
We all live in the same world. A world that is perfectly imperfect. Perfection is a myth. You absolutely can hit that bullseye once in a while, but a perfectionist has to hit it every time. “Almost” perfect isn’t an option and is deemed failure. In the perfectionist’s world there is no gray. For them, the world is black and white, which can generate enough stress to become the open door to anxiety and/or depression.
Insistence on being perfect is when you start moving from the constructive desire to improve your life to the destructive desire to control it.
The search for perfection requires an unyielding determination to rid yourself of all imperfections and deficiencies you currently experience while focusing on nothing else but that.
When it comes to perfectionists, one size doesn’t fit all. There are three major types: The Diva, The Extremist, and the Control Freak.
* The Diva
The Diva wants only one thing: applause. When people are fascinated with you and all that you do, they clearly love you. This leads The Diva to feel that they would never hurt you in anyway. In fact, they will want to be with you and please you. This is control. The Diva is convinced that everyone loves a winner.
Divas usually are in the spotlight or striving to be in that position. The Diva usually leads instead of following and is always trying to impress the world. In an ongoing effort to be entertaining, provocative or show their humor, Divas can actually isolate their “audience” which eventually will become bored with The Divas self-admiration.
* The Extremist
Extremists are what they call classical perfectionists. Extremists may occasionally enjoy the applause of others, but unlike The Diva, the approval of others is secondary on their list.
The main objective for The Extremist is to rise above vulnerability by ridding all flaws. If applause happens, it’s a bonus, but not an essential.
The Extremist is by nature compulsive and obsessive about most areas of their lives. They become obsessive about most of the activities they pursue. Whether it be a hobby, club, exercise, religion, how their home is kept, or paying excessive attention to their personal appearance. They are the definition of over-doers, who are extremely disciplined people who will not or cannot do anything halfway.
* Control Freaks
Control Freaks are found to be socially oblivious. While The Diva is insistent on the approval of others and The Extremist is more driven by their own image, Control Freaks are only concerned with control – rather than being liked or admired.
Whether the Control Freak wants to control people, things, or events, they leave nothing to fate. Everything, every detail must be controlled. This behavior often leads them to be constant worriers. They are always trying to anticipate and ready themselves for whatever life has coming at them.
Whether you’re a The Diva, The Extremist, or Control Freak, remember: absolute perfection is impossible.
There is, however, a subtle but important distinction between striving for perfection and needing to be perfect. Whereas perfection itself is unobtainable, striving for perfection, wanting to better yourself by improving everything from your golf swing to your relationship, is realistic.
The takeaway here is accepting who you are and use this to have self-compassion. You are not perfect, and neither is anyone else. Always keep that in mind the next time you beat yourself up for something. View your imperfection as something that makes you unique. How cool is that?
Give others a break, too. Accept that they are not perfect just as you are not perfect. If they make a mistake, chalk it up to the human experience. Hopefully, they’ll learn from that mistake and try to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Encourage them not to beat themselves up about it. Let them in on the imperfection club. You’ll see all your friends there as well as your family. You’ll also see your enemies there, but that’s what happens in an imperfect world.
I challenge you to focus on the here and now instead of some imaginary perfect future. Tell yourself that the joy is in the journey. Whatever we have, life will always be perfectly imperfect and we can at least be grateful for all that we are, have and do. It All Starts with You.
Please take a moment to meet