There was a time when I wanted things to be perfect. I wanted the perfect career, the perfect relationship, a perfect version of myself. When I was at a retreat a few weeks ago and the issue of striving for perfection came up, it made me wonder, what is perfection? Whose definition of the word are we using?
What I’ve come to realize is that perfect is a relative term. The perfect job for you may not be the perfect job for me. What I’m looking for in a relationship may not be what others perceive to be perfect. When we strive for perfection, are we using our own definition of what that looks like, or are our standards for perfection being defined by others?
I feel like my perception of perfection is constantly evolving. What I thought was perfection in my 20s is definitely not how I see being perfect today. I used to define perfection based on what I thought others expected to be perfect. It went back to my need to please others. I was always trying to be “perfect” for others: the perfect girlfriend, best friend, daughter, etc.
Of course, if you’ve read any of my other posts, you’ll know that I’ve let go of my need to please others. I finally understand that any happiness another experiences from something I did is temporary. It isn’t my job to please others. Once I understood this, my need to be perfect for others diminished and I starting to simply focus on being the best version of me that I can be.
I know that I also often waited for perfect timing or perfection of some sort when working on certain projects. I wanted things to be perfect because I believed the things I did were a reflection of me, that they defined me and what I was capable of. I wasn’t very forgiving of mistakes, especially when they were mine. This has been a little harder to let go of. The fear of failure or the fear of being seen as flawed is still there, even if it isn’t as strong as it used to be.
The need to be perfect can be just as immobilizing as fear itself. If you’re waiting for the stars to be perfectly aligned before you take action, you may never do what you’re being called to do. Avoid using perfection as an excuse not to take action. Resist the temptation to beat yourself up for your mistakes, we all make them. Focus on your growth, progress and evolution and the release the need to be perfect for anyone else but you! ♥
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