Can we stop for a second and chat about this constant striving for perfection?
I’ve been thinking about my behaviour and how limiting, not to mention exhausting, this thing can be. So the question that I started to ask myself is this. “What is it that I’m afraid of that others will learn about me?” My need for perfection is a sure sign that I am afraid to be shamed. Shame could be defined as the fundamental fear that I am unlovable. If I managed to be perfect in my thinking and acting, maybe I could avoid being unlovable.
But here is the problem with perfectionism:
1. Perfectionism is not conducive to growth
Ever learn anything by getting it perfect for the first time, every time? Me neither.
2. Perfectionism is not real life
When I was going through the darkest time of my life, and my family was falling apart, people were shocked when they found out. I had worked so hard at creating the illusion of the perfect family. You think everyone else’s life is perfect compared to yours? I promise you it’s not.
3. Perfectionism creates isolation
In the midst of my own guilt, pain, embarrassment and anger I believed that these feelings were unique to me. These emotions are all deeply human. In the midst of our imperfection we are connected to all others.
4. Perfection doesn’t create empathy or compassion
A big reason I feel empathy and compassion is because of my own failures and mistakes. I serve others because my own suffering gives me insight into the suffering of others. Earlier on this week a shared a card my step mom gave me. It reads “He loves us not because we are all loveable, but because He is love.” I’m not perfect, but I don’t need to be. I am worthy of love in all my imperfection.
We all are.
ANN HAS BEEN FEATURED IN