The Imperfections of Perfectionism

Perfectionism.  What does that mean to you?  Perfectionism used to mean striving for excellence to me.  On the contrary, I’ve learned that there is quite a difference between “perfectionism” and “striving for excellence”.  Through my journey, I am learning that I have, for so long, sought perfectionism.  Where did that lead me?  Toward feelings of anxiety, disappointment, and jealousy (just to name a few).  Society has shaped us into thinking that we must be the fastest, the strongest, the smartest, the prettiest, the most successful, and the list goes on and on.  “What’s wrong with striving to be “perfect”?”, you might ask.  I must respond by asking you: “By whom are these standards of “perfection” measured?”  If the answer is society, our parents, our peers, or anyone other than ourselves, then therein lies your answer.  If you are striving for anything other than self gratification (for whatever your end goal may be), you will rarely, if ever, reach the “expected” standard of perfection.  Why?  Because everyone is perfectly IMPERFECT.  It is through all of your imperfections are that you are perfectly you.  Why should we allow anyone else to convince us otherwise?  Attempting to meet someone else’s goal of what YOUR excellence should look like will only lead you down the road of the imperfections of perfectionism (i.e. anxiety, disappointment, and jealousy, etc).

So, what does it mean to “strive for excellence”?  Striving for excellence means seeking to aim your own personal goals for yourself.  If you have a personal goal to open your own business, then come up with a plan to obtain that goal.  But, you must first ask yourself “Am I doing this to make myself happy or to make [my mom, my dad, my significant other, society] happy?”  Striving for excellence is understanding that there will likely be bumps in the road, but you don’t beat yourself up about hitting the bumps.  You don’t allow yourself to get wrapped up in the idea of perfectionism (which, again, comes with anxiety, disappointment, jealousy, etc.).  You learn, grow, and move forward with achieving your personal goal.  Your goal might be losing weight, being more successful in your career, becoming more of a family person, becoming more of a socialite, or waking up on time everyday.  The end goal will alter from person to person.  However, what should not alter (when striving for excellence) is continuing to grow in self-actualization, self-worth, and self-gratification.  Take this time for you!  I challenge you to strive for excellence.  Identify a personal goal (but remember it MUST be a goal that you are doing for YOU…self-gratification), come up with a plan for obtaining that goal, and take the first step to following through with your plan.