3 Reasons to Stop Chasing Perfection

Many of us have ideals and expectations stemmed from a need to reach a state of ‘perfection’. We strive for it, yet very often we don’t attain it and it plagues us immensely. Perfection is something that we have mentally created and it frequently plunges us into anxiety because it detaches us from our good qualities. We hurt ourselves with expectations and all that we place so highly on a pedestal in this misplaced paradigm. Rather than burden our mind and hearts with illusory visions of what perfect is or means to us, we can find some freedom in embracing ways to improve and progress without adding the weight of perfection or comparison to others on our heads. Here are 3 reasons to stop chasing perfection to help you.

“Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it”- Salvador Dali

1. Ideals can actually sabotage self improvement

We are our own worst enemy and we often judge ourselves too harshly. Our misguided perceptions literally eat away at our more solid and committed efforts to value our improvements, no matter how small they may seem. Every step forward has significance, even if it looks like 10 steps back. All our failures and monstrous mistakes move us forward because we learn to get better and shape our visions into something real and more long-lasting. When we fail, the image we built up in our mind shatters to a million pieces, but we should really see this as a valuable opportunity to rebuild. We can create new visions with truth and value as a foundation. There is no shame in failing- we only lose when we don’t learn.

“Strive for continuous improvement, instead of perfection”- Kim Collins

2. Perfection is not something outside of us

We externalize perfection, yet we already have it within. We are perfectly set up with all we need to bust our own myths, overcome our obstacles, and continually find new ways to progress. There is no reason why we should love ourselves less or burden ourselves with a desire for perfection that only exacerbates our insecurities. We can take time to think introspectively by grounding ourselves in what is real and tangible right now. Many may have ideas or thoughts about how we can be or do better but what truly matters is our own. We are all innately woven with purpose and designed with meaning- all of our imperfections are what create the greater whole and we can find strength in the full tapestry of who we are.

“You are loved just for being who you are, just for existing. You don't have to do anything to earn it. Your shortcomings, your lack of self-esteem, physical perfection, or social and economic success - none of that matters. No one can take this love away from you, and it will always be here”- Ram Dass

3. We know ourselves better through all our faults and failures

It is painful when we feel like we don’t measure up. It is harmful to feel that despite our best efforts we can’t reach this picture that either we or someone else planted in our mind. When we release these notions that are largely self-induced we can free ourselves from our deceptions, self sabotage and limiting beliefs. Instead, we can make it our mission to gain a comprehensive understanding of how we can utilize every fault, flaw or failure for inner fuel. Through enhancing our knowledge we can embrace everything that triggers us so that we can transform it into something that can catapult us forward, rather than an illusory ideal of perfection that can often hold us back.

“Successful design is not the achievement of perfection but the minimization and accommodation of imperfection”- Henry Petroski

The chase for perfection or unachievable ideals robs us of the present time and of our elementally flawed human nature. We end up scrutinizing life and all our relationships under this hurtful umbrella of perfectionism. What should override our ideals is freedom and acceptance- the freedom to just be who we are and accept our shortcomings as being perfectly imperfect.

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