Everybody in some way or the other are working towards attaining perfection in their lives. Be it a 5-year-old kid or a 65-year-old man/woman. We are blindly following the fact that something is real or good only if it is perfect.
So, Have we managed to achieve perfection in anything that we do?
Are we ever going to achieve it?
I plead guilty of falling into the category of people who are completely obsessed with the whole idea or concept of being a “PERFECTIONIST.” Up until now, for me, everything had to be perfect, if it wasn’t perfect it wasn’t real. If someone were to ever ask me, if I ever managed to get anything done perfectly, the answer would be a ‘perfect’ NO!
Would I ever get there?
What did I manage to get out of it?
All I managed was an immense pressure which only bogged me down in every sphere of my life and made me fail in all of my endeavours.
Why did it happen?
Because I was running after something that didn’t even exist. Gradually after failing repeatedly I finally realised there is no such thing as ‘PERFECTION’ in this world. It is nothing but a – MYTH.
The whole idea of perfection is nothing but exhausting. Yes, it does help us achieve great results but its obsession prevents us from being our true self. All my life I have been so fixated with being perfect. I wanted to have a perfect body, perfect skin, I wanted to be the perfect daughter, the perfect sister, a perfect journalist, a perfect event manager, a perfect human being, my Powerpoint presentations had to be perfect and the most recent one is I want all my blog posts to be perfect, which of course will never be possible. Due to this habit of mine I always ignored the minor details and small achievements which were actually perfect.
One day I was having a conversation with a friend and he told me the ugly truth about my obsession. I really needed someone like him to show me the mirror. He told me, “You don’t even realise what you are losing out on just because all you want is perfection in everything that you do. This is not humanely possible. You cannot control everything in life”
His words came across as a slap on my face. I couldn’t help but think about it all night long and analyse every possible situation. I began to think how I have always body shamed myself for not being stick thin like other girls. I’ve always cried in front of my mother for not being a little more taller. At a very young age, I was taught that girls need to be thin and fair in order to be perfect, hence my obsession. Adding fuel to the fire were the beauty commercials and magazines that made this whole notion even more believable. Everyone everywhere keeps saying love your body love yourself but trust me this doesn’t work when you are constantly criticised on the basis of how fair you are or how much you weigh.
What changed my mind?
I’ll tell you.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”- Jim Rohn
This made me realise that it is my body and I will take care of it as I want it not as per what other people tell me or how they want it to be. Yes, I am not perfect and I don’t want to be anymore. I have learned to accept my flaws and embrace them. Nobody else apart from me can define what is perfect.
Of late I have also been obsessing with writing the perfect posts for my blog. I started running out of ideas and wasn’t able to create something beautiful and meaningful. Something started out of love was turning into sheer pain for me. I again went back to my friend for his advice and this time what he told me is something that will always remain with me for a lifetime.
He said, “Shiwangi, you are an artist, your work is never good enough or complete or perfect, you will be inspired sometimes and uninspired most of the time… That is the path you have chosen so don’t be hard on yourself just keep writing every day and keep posting on your blog and when you have doubts write about your doubts, when you feel you aren’t good enough write about that… your feelings are your guide to writing great work – my most inspired work has been created when I have been least inspired because I simply write about my emotions.”
Those words changed my perspective for good. I learnt that life is much more than just wanting it to be perfect. Life is perfect because of its imperfection. There is nothing I gained out of trying to be perfect. It rather made me less productive, it made me a procrastinator, I kept waiting for the ‘perfect’ time all the time, it increased anxiety and negative feelings in me, inferiority complex was at its peak and most of all I missed out on the beautiful things and opportunities that I was given.
A lot of people around me including my parents have been questioning me as to what have I been doing to bring forth such drastic changes within me. Well, all I started doing was stopped running after perfection and started appreciating the imperfections.
There’s always some lesson that I try to take in from every experience of mine. Hence following are the few things that I gained out of all this chaos –
- No matter how hard you try things will never be perfect
- It is okay to make mistakes, you are human not a machine. Don’t punish yourself for it.
- Stop comparing yourself with others, all you’re doing is damaging yourself.
- Create your own definition of perfection
- Stop those negative thoughts. Just Stop!
- Flaws are beautiful, that’s the beauty of being a human being
“No one is perfect… that’s why pencils have erasers.” – anonymous