Stop Striving For Perfection If You Want To Be Happy
Longing for perfection can affect any area of life. We can long for a perfect job, perfect looks, perfect relationship or even a perfect home.
In case you haven’t figured this one out yet, there is no such thing as perfect life. Yes, you may say “well of course I know that!” But… do you really understand it? Do you really live as a person who accepts their imperfections?
Nothing is perfect, no one is perfect. So, why do we keep living in belief that we can achieve it?
How perfectionism can ruin our happiness
On a conscious level we can be aware that perfectionism is not good and think that we are not perfectionists at all. Then some situation happens and we may realize accidentally that we have tendency for perfection.
For example, you invite a group of people at a dinner party. You are a good cook and your family eats a healthy and nurturing meal every day. But on this particular day you feel nervous and anxious. Nothing goes right. One meal is too salty, the other is burnt. What is going on? Most probably a need to have a perfect representation of your cooking skill came out. If the meal is not perfect, you are not happy.
The different approach here would be: I will do my best to do everything right. If something is not perfect, that is OK. I am only human and allow myself to make a mistake.
Progress instead of perfection
Instead of perfection, our predominant desire should be to strive for progress. Progress means having a learning mindset, making constant effort and being proud of doing your best. There is nothing wrong with striving for being successful and good at something. However, there is a big difference in being successful and being under a heavy burden to be successful in a certain way (a.k.a. perfect).
Perfection at work
At work we should always do our best. In other words, don’t expect never to do any mistake.
People make mistakes all the time and important thing to do is to learn from them. The worst thing you can do is to beat yourself up for making a mistake. Instead, accept your imperfection, examine why you made this mistake and make sure you learned everything needed to not make this mistake again.
Perfection in relationships
This perfectionism lies in our deepest desires to have true love we can totally trust. True love means that we are always treated perfectly. This can be a source of our great unhappiness. We should never forget that our partner is not perfect. They will make mistakes, forget to do something or just simply fail to act the way we needed them to act at a certain point.
Instead, accepting the person the way they are with their flaws and good sides is the only way we can be happy with someone. Perfectionism can never be achieved in any relationship. The sooner we accept it, we will have a better relationship.
Focus on progressing in communication instead of expecting someone will read your mind to know your needs automatically. Even if you’ve been together for ages, your partner will never be able to know at all times what you want and need.
The most dangerous perfectionism of all is needing to look flawless. So many people have insecurities because they don’t look as their celebrity idols (who are also far from perfect but made to look that way for public eyes).
It is sad to see people who undertake many surgeries just to look as perfectly as possible. In the end, they start looking artificial and even further from perfect.
Perfect looks can never be achieved. Instead, focus on progress to improve whatever good you have and correct what can be corrected. But don’t forget to love and accept yourself, because you are unique just the way you are.