When someone calls you perfect, how do you feel? Do you take it as a compliment or a trap.
For much of my life, I wanted to be perfect. It was the holy grail. The title I looked for the most. This want came from having in my mind a perfect mother. Everyone praised her and her perfect abilities. I wanted that badly.
So when I got married and assumed the roles I had seen her play all my life, I began a great imitation game. The only thing which I did not realize was that I was not her. And didn’t need to be. With this unachievable goal came a lot of stress, anxiety, and fear. Because perfection is a myth.
Perfection MAY be achieved when we can walk on water, but with my current weight that is not happening anytime soon:)
So if perfection is a myth, what is real? Progress. One step at a time.
Striving towards excellence and evolving in the process. Growing, reflecting and changing constantly.
Below are the 5 reasons I decided to stop chasing perfectionism and decided to evolve instead.
5 Reasons I Stopped Chasing Perfectionism
Whenever an idea popped in my head, it would stay up there with me looking at all angles and dissecting it. But that’s where it would essentially be – in my head.
The perfect idea needs to be foolproof – and is that really possible? Hence, this caused long periods of unproductivity.
Another factor to think of was the high fear of ridicule. What will others say about me? Essentially perfectionism looked like a cage more and more.
Steps I took to Overcome:
- Began to focus on the main idea
- Planned an outline
- Took first steps and refined along the way
2. Negative Self Talk
When you do not meet up the unrealistic standards you set up for yourself – your self esteem takes a beating. Your inner critic becomes so strong that you are paralyzed to think or act better.
So when my ideas were not ‘perfectly’ executed – my confidence took a hit. You cannot even do so much right? What good are you? You are terrible! – kind of thoughts filled my head.
For a person trying to prove herself this was rock bottom. Now what?
For more on this read: From Shame To Empathy: A Journey Filled With Self Compassion
Step I took to Overcome:
- Set realistic goals
- Stop my inner critic
- Show myself the same compassion, I would for another
Constant analysis, planning, and dissecting ideas can lead to great mental exhaustion and energy drain. This was true for me. Every day seemed like a barrage of never-ending and repetitive thoughts.
Planning is definitely required but the constant anxiety of perfecting it is unessential. Ceaseless worry and living in the future made me forget the present. I began to realize that I was fighting battles that did not exist and building ‘perfect’ castles but no way to get there.
All this caused joint pains, headaches and insomnia. It was time for a change.
Steps I took to Overcome:
- Stop repeating thoughts
- Be in the present moment
- Take care of my health
4. Distant Relationships
Perfectionism and expectations go hand in hand and both are detrimental to relationships. Add to this judgment and we are set to have failed relationships.
As my want for perfection in myself increased, it also colored the way I looked at other people. I expected them to do more for themselves. Be their perfect selves like I wanted to be mine.
Humans love empathy and hate advice. I saw this aspect and began to realize the price I was paying for my ‘perfect’ beliefs, as it began to feel lonelier in my perfect world. It was time to connect and heal.
Steps I Took To Overcome:
- Live and Let Live policy
- Listen More to Others
- Listen More to Myself
5. Lack Of Life Satisfaction
Nothing is ever enough. Not you, not your accomplishments and not the people in your life.
You may have everything and yet feel that there is nothing. Because you want to achieve walking over water and that for multiple reasons (already explained) is not possible!
As my dissatisfaction grew and I felt my growth had stopped. I knew it was time to evolve. To be grateful for the things I had and focus on that.
Since where focus goes, energy flows!
Steps I Took to Overcome:
- Began to journal the things I am grateful for
- Read positive media
- Take small steps to grow
By making these adjustments in my life I began to become more productive, confident, grateful, happy, and content. What more can I ask? To grow and change. To always strive for excellence but let it not define you.
So today my motto is:
Instead of Best Of the BestPrachi Bansal
Be a Work In Progress
These were my conclusions, I would love to hear some of yours too:) Drop in comments!