Stop chasing the idea of being perfect and embrace your flaws
Are you someone who is constantly afraid of not doing it right? Do you chase perfectionism while accomplishing any work or even in your personal life? I totally can feel the pressure you are enduring trying to be perfect. This was so me. It took me a lifetime to stop being perfect and start living my life.
There are so many incidents in our life that inspires us to be perfect. We are afraid of making mistakes and letting others down. In this fear and shame, we push ourselves so hard that this idea of always being perfect becomes our lifestyle.
While there’s nothing wrong with being your best self and setting high goals for yourself. We are given a single life to live it our way and we definitely shouldn’t leave any stone unturned. Being a perfectionist isn’t really a problem, we can set high standards for ourselves and excel at them.
The problem arises when this idea of being perfect becomes your lifestyle and you forget to pause, enjoy your life. Many times when we are handling a certain project, we obviously aim for the excellent work. But the perfectionist in you would surpass this excellence and would keep going until you’re worn out.
This where the real problem lies. When you stop being a perfectionist and embrace your flaws, you actually welcome and accept yourself the way you’re.
Here’s the thing: Perfectionism is a myth, something so unrealistic that no one can ever attain that!! Let this sink in. You are allowed to be imperfect, flawed because that’s what we all are; humans.
What actually is ‘Perfectionism’?
Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life.” – Anne Lamott
Perfectionism is nothing but a protective layer for all your hidden fears and insecurities. We strive to be perfect because we are afraid of failing and making mistakes. This means we truly stop growing when we run behind being a perfectionist because you clearly cannot grow without making mistakes.
Here’s how I was trapped in this web of perfection. Since childhood, I was super competitive and I wouldn’t accept anything less than A on my report card. This behavior of mine made me super conscious and I was so afraid of failure.
Even at my workplace, I would always compare myself with the best one and would aim to strive for being perfect. The thing here was, I would always procrastinate as I always wanted my work to be perfect and the best. Nothing subpar could satisfy me and in this cycle of being perfect, I would always miss the deadlines.
This used to affect me in the worst possible ways and I knew I had to help myself and stop being perfect. Sometimes, we don’t realize how this bubble of perfection is messing up with our real selves.
We feel insecure and anxious about being our authentic selves. ‘But I’m a perfectionist, I cannot make this mistake. What are people going to think about me?’, such thoughts encircle our mind and curb our power of thinking. And to avoid them we start with some soft-addictions like binge eating, binge-watching, keeping ourselves always busy, making no time for rest.
In essence, soft additions are distractions from our destiny. They put us in a fog, keep us from thinking clearly or being really present, distract us from our higher values and true purpose, prevent us from connecting to others, and distance us from our loved ones. Soft addictions decrease our productivity and numb us from our true feelings. They keep us from getting more out of life, lead us to less, and sabotage our dreams. – The soft addiction solution
Why should you stop being perfect all the time?
As simple as it is, no one is perfect!! Perfectionism is an illusion. We are all humans and we are bound to make mistakes. Sometimes, when we view the picture-perfect life of others on social media, we feel insecure and because of this, we try to flaunt perfect.
This is the real-life, how long do you think you can mask yourself? And can you imagine how much you’re hurting yourself with this idea of being perfect?
Perfectionism is a kind of self-abuse, the worst kind. If you’re afraid of how people will judge you, you’re totally mistaken. No one actually cares, we are all super busy in our lives to even think about our own selves. Do not be so hard on yourself just to please someone else. Here’s how you can crush your fear of judgment and live happily.
Myths about perfectionism
I always wanted to start a blog from the last few years but I restricted myself by giving lame excuses that my site wasn’t perfect, the layout wasn’t up to mark, my blog posts aren’t perfect, and what not!! It took so much time for me to understand this simple logic; done is better than perfect.
Here are some myths about perfection that we all have ingrained inside of our heads.
1. Perfectionism is being your best self
Being your best self means you’re constantly walking on the path of self-improvement, doing everything for your growth, learning, and unlearning at the same time. In this journey of growth, you always seek how you can improve, how you can work for your progress.
However, being a perfectionist isn’t growing or being your best self. Instead, you’re hindering your growth by not making mistakes. Perfectionists are always insecure and so concerned about what others think. Your work will be the result of someone’s approval and not your own satisfaction, this is why perfectionists are never quite satisfied!!
2. Perfectionism is the key to success
Perfectionism is definitely not the key to any kind of success!! You may argue; ‘ but I landed my job because I was perfect’!! Seriously, do you think you could now afford to make any mistakes with that thought in mind? And this will make you insanely crazy because you are labeled as someone who’s perfect and you clearly cannot make mistakes.
Perfectionism holds you back from reaching your goals. Just as I used to procrastinate in order to do the perfect work ( which never happened), you too will end up leaving it half-way. Think about all the activities you love doing, the art and craft, the colors and paints, the words and rhymes. Now tell me, how many times did you refrain from enjoying those activities just because you weren’t perfect?
Perfectionism never leads you to success. It only pulls you back until the road is perfect for you to walk upon which never really is anytime!!
3. Perfectionism is the final goal
If you’re seriously setting perfection as your goal, you are not going to move forward. Perfection will always nudge you back from your work just to polish it more and you will always end up being unsatisfied with the outcome. The idea of being perfect is in itself the biggest myth.
No human in this entire world is perfect, though they might look on social media. They have their own struggles, insecurities which they don’t always talk about. Seeking perfection as your final goal will always end up leaving you hungry. Instead, set some realistic goals and do your best to attain them. Just stop being perfect for once!!
How to stop worrying about being perfect
Now that we have debunked the myths about being perfect, I’m quite sure that we are in the correct mindset to jump upon the quicks tips to stop worrying about being perfect. I get you, maybe your surroundings or society puts lots of pressure on you for being perfect or maybe you have wired your mind to achieve perfectionism in everything you do. But we clearly saw how harmful this trait of chasing perfectionism can be.
Let’s discuss some beautiful tips on how to stop worrying about being perfect:
1. Stop judging everything
And here, by everything, I also mean your own self. Have you ever wondered how much you judge yourself for not being enough and then strive to be someone who is perfect? People with a judgmental mentality often find it hard to escape from this chain of perfectionism.
You judge yourself as a parent, entrepreneur, employee, friend, and end up being your best critic. This forces you to be perfect. Even when you have done your task perfectly well, the perfectionist in you will still point out something that didn’t go well!! Stop being so hard on yourself and catch a breath.
2. Challenge your perfectionist thoughts
Mindset is everything and if you’re able to tweak this mentality of being a perfectionist, you surely can escape this race. Try to define the term ‘Perfection’ in your way and not by comparing yourself with someone else. Once you start questioning this idea of being perfect, you will realize that perfection is subjective.
What might seem perfect to you may not be perfect for someone else and vice-versa. Whenever you’re putting yourself on the hamster of being perfect, try to challenge your thoughts and ask yourself if my good enough is already good enough, or am I trying to please someone else!!
It indeed is such a relief when you know that your thoughts are just messing up with you and there’s nothing like perfection.
3. Know how perfection kills productivity
Perfection is the biggest enemy of productivity. You may label yourself lazy or procrastinator but deep down it’s just another layer that is masking your idea of being perfect. How many times do you find yourself leaving your project half-way just because it wasn’t perfect according to you?
It happened with me so many times, I didn’t even start this blog for long because I wanted it to be super perfect, glittery and I don’t know what other fantasy thoughts I lived with. But the point is, you cannot attain your goals or even be productive if you beat yourself for being always perfect.
4. Enjoy the process
The thoughts of being perfect steal your joy of enjoying the process and being in the moment. Whenever you’re about the start of a new project or are in the middle of some, you will constantly be worrying about attaining perfection.
If you can learn to experience every moment as a constant unfolding of the gorgeous presence of your life, you can’t help but enjoy it. Life happens only once and it’s all in the journey that we are truly alive. Enjoy your meal, learn to appreciate the life around, stay in the moment. It’s okay if you’re a day late for your bill, do not be so harsh on yourself.
5. Break the comparison race
Sometimes we fail to realize that our idea of perfection is nothing but the outcome of the competition we threw ourselves in. When we make this point clear that we are all on our own journey, which is different and unique, we learn to stop comparing ourselves.
This is your path and you’re allowed to walk on it at your pace. Someone’s success is not your failure and you will get there on your time. Remember this!!
6. Learn to let go
Perfectionists find it difficult to let go. They always want everything under their control and it should all happen their way. Whereas, life is full of uncertainties and surprises. You cannot expect things to work your way all the time.
The problem arises when you cannot let it go if something doesn’t happen according to your mark of perfection and this is how you invite stress and anxiety. Letting go isn’t easy but with persistence and practice, you surely can learn it. Take one step at a time.
7. Realize the power of mistakes
Chasing perfection will make you walk on fire where you will be super scared for making mistakes. You will always run after perfection and do everything to avoid mistakes. While we are all aware of the power of making mistakes that lead to some important discoveries.
It was only after making numerous mistakes that I embarked on my journey of creativity. Ditch this illusion of perfection and embrace your flaws, you’re the best when you learn and grow.
Read more on how to stop your racing thoughts here.
Stop chasing the idea of being perfect – final thoughts
Chasing perfection will only make you miserable and I really want you to live this single life to the fullest. Crush this idea of being perfect and embrace your flaws wholeheartedly. You are you and that’s enough. I would love to know your idea of being perfect, do drop your views in the comments below.
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