How many people do you know, think they are a perfectionist? In a room of 25, almost everyone had their hands up at a workshop I attended about Perfectionism. Now in a world that is so chaotic and imperfect, this makes me wonder.
Seeking perfection as a standard is like having no standard at all… why? Because it simply does not exist.
Perfection is only in our heads!
To become perfect you need to excel beyond excellence and that in itself is too much to ask of anyone. As far as I can remember, I had to do things perfectly… in order. To-do-lists reigned my world when I started university. Those lists finally took over and now they control me rather than the other way around. Obsessive compulsive behavior kicked in during the last 5-8 years.
If you have doubts about your level of obsession, here’s a test that you may identify with and quickly determine how deep in you are. You have a to-do-list with 10 items. You go about your merry day doing them. Striking them one at a time. Then you realize that you accomplished 1 or 2 items that were Not on the list. You rush to your list. Add them to it, only to strike them out and feel the pleasure of having done so. Yes! That was me… and there’s a lot of us out there!
It is sad though. Perfection, I learnt, comes at a cost. You lose your freedom and spontaneity along the way. Women loose the romance in their lives. When everything is planned to the minutest detail, how can anything become a surprise anymore? Life becomes predictable. You loose time where you can just “Be” because your life turns into “Do Do Do” all the time. It never stops. I became a prisoner of my lists and the continuous, never saturated need to be perfect. You become very critical of yourself, your relationships and the people around you. And that surely doesn’t make you the favorite kid on the block!
We should ask ourselves, for who or for what do we need to be perfect? And wouldn’t ‘excellent’ as opposed to ‘perfect’ do the job? Recently, I decided to let go of Perfection… and let me tell you, that freed up a lot of my time… and I’m loving it!!!