mindfulness perspective spirituality

Why and How, Even Being a Perfectionist, I Gave Up on Perfection

They say Virgos are perfectionists. As someone of that sun sign, I had no trouble believing that about myself from an early age! I tried to maintain very high standards of both quality and quantity of work, pushed myself constantly to achieve those standards, and I was actually very proud about that! In interviews, when asked for weaknesses, I would always quote this trait of the pursuit of perfection, coyly and delightfully disguising it as a strength.

Call it maturity, wisdom, or just a new-found way of life, but over the years, I realized that being a perfectionist always left me feeling unfulfilled, because neither the world nor I could meet those standards I set for myself. I wanted to be the best manager, the perfect partner, the perfect…everything! And I wanted everyone else to perform at that level as well.

Sure, it’s good to want to do more, to improve, to strive for something better the next time, but instead of a growth perspective, I was always beating up on myself because THAT last presentation I did wasn’t good as I wanted it to be, THIS analysis that I am doing is not detailed enough, and as far as I was concerned, if someone wasn’t working to the standards I was, he or she was just slacking. Self-criticism, self-judgement, judgement of others, I had them all.

However, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t be as perfect as THAT person with a similar profile as me, who was obviously doing better.

I realized that besides not being the perfect employee, I wasn’t the perfect daughter, friend, girlfriend, aunt, niece, granddaughter, cook, you name it. But sometimes in my pursuit of perfection, I was convinced I had OCD. Maybe I did.

And it was EXHAUSTING!!! Even when people said they were inspired or impressed by me, I was quite surprised, because I hadn’t done the best I could, right? And surprisingly, the harder I tried, sometimes the more unproductive I would get!

When I look back now at my role models then, people I looked up to, who inspired me, whether they be in my personal or professional world, I see now that they had their own styles of doing things, managing people and situations. And I was always trying to be as good as them, because they were perfect, right? Turns out, they were not. They were trying as much as they could, in their own way.

And over a period of time, after a lot of self-development work, I have realized I can never be them, because I am not THEM. I realized it was okay to be me, and it was okay to let go once in a while. That it was fine to relax and live a little, breathe a little, forgive myself more, give myself a pat on the back because I am doing a good job, even appreciate others more because they are trying their best too.

And boy oh boy, that felt so good!

I will not stop hustling, trying, working, growing, but sometimes it’s just okay to relax and say hey you know what, am not perfect, but I am working hard, trying a lot, I am learning through everything, and that’s fantastic, just in itself!

Yes I still beat up on myself, I still set high standards, and push myself really hard, but I forgive myself faster and obsess about mistakes lesser. I sit and take a 10 min break even when I have huge to-do lists.

I am still not perfect on my journey of being okay with imperfection, but am doing good today. And at this moment, that’s okay

My FF thought* of the day: You, wherever you are, are doing great! You may not have reached where you want to, yet, but doesn’t matter. You’re awesome and amazing, right where you are, with whatever you have accomplished. Remember, people don’t love you because of how capable and perfect you are, but because of the beautiful person that you are. Be your most authentic self and connect to your loved ones more, today. If you, and the people around you are happy, that’s the best version of yourself that you can be. Be #PowerfullyYOU.

*FF = Full Full. The glass is not half full, it’s always full full: 1/2 with water, 1/2 with air, even though you can’t see the air. In short, there is always something good in everything.

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