“There are two kinds of perfect: The one you can never achieve, and the other, by just being yourself.” ~Lauren King
It’s not easy being a perfectionist and striving towards the unobtainable. Perfectionism is a powerful drive for excelling, but can also become a source of procrastination. Since perfectionism is a part of human nature it’s good to learn how to deal with it, so that it becomes a strength instead of a weakness.
- Nothing is perfect
Nothing you create will ever be perfect. The only thing that’s perfect is the essence of who we are, consciousness itself. Consciousness is infinite and completely void. It’s the creator of all the inevitably imperfect creations. Creating something which is perfect is by definition impossible. With this in mind it will be easier to accept the imperfection of your work, which is essential in dealing with perfectionism. Have the courage to be imperfect; the people who matter will accept it.
Since nothing is perfect, that also means the road to perfection is endless. There will always be room for improvement, no matter how tiny it may be. In your awareness you are perfect and that drives the mind to bring perfection into the world. The end goal isn’t perfection, but the journey to mastery itself. All the work you do along the way is part of that journey. In accepting the imperfections you recognize the perfection.
- Success and perfection are not synonimous
Successful people aren’t pefect and neither is their work. They don’t let the imperfect nature of their creations keep them from reaping the fruits of their work. Instead they use it as a drive to perform even better next time, but perform they will. If they were too afraid to perform, because they knew it would be imperfect, would they have ever become successful? Not really. They achieved despite their flaws and because of their courage to be imperfect.
My website is imperfect and flawed, but I still consider it a success because people appreciate it. If I would’ve waited with blogging until I had my own custom-made page then I wouldn’t have been able to develop my skills and create a following in the mean time. The same is true of artists who release their imperfect creations out into the world. Without those creations there would be no art. An idea is worth as much as its execution; something is better than nothing.
This principle is especially true in business. I’ve met people who took on jobs they were hardly ready nor qualified for, but they learned the skills on the way. In the mean time they got rewarded for their boldness by sticking out their neck with failure lurking around the corner. The reality is that we’ll never feel ready to take the jump until we do it and realize it wasn’t all that bad. The conflict exists only in the mind and not in the real world. This discomfort is what we feel when we’re leaving our comfort zone. Recognizing this and seeing it as a indication of growth is the kind of mentality that every perfectionist could use.
- Don’t judge yourself
Just because your creations aren’t perfect doesn’t mean you should be too hard on yourself. Of course it’s good to be critical to see in which areas you can improve (and ask others for honest feedback), but don’t let that process disturb the joy of creating and expressing. Sometimes the biggest haters of our work are we ourselves; don’t kill your own entusiasm. Also, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of self-praise. Being successful involves knowing your strengths and weaknesses. Acknowledging and affirming your strengths is just as important for success as recognizing your weaknesses.
In the competitive business world people are always comparing themselves to others and ideals. As helpful as it can be to get inspired through someone else, that doesn’t mean it’s good to try and ‘fit’ the model of who society dictates you should be. The best way to eliminate competition doesn’t lie in trying to be better, but just in being you. Improve your skills, but keep your own flavour. The more you generalize yourself the less uniqueness you have to sell. Uniqueness is what makes you stand out and valuable.
- In conclusion
Accept your flaws and imperfections. Don’t wait with things until you’re ready, but challenge yourself to be courageous and go for it. Use your perfectionist nature as a drive to improve your skills and becoming better, but don’t let it spoil the joy of doing your work and making mistakes. And make sure perfectionism doesn’t become the advocate of procrastination, because that’s not doing yourself nor the world any justice.