April 6th 2018
Progress > Perfection
The concept of perfection is overwhelming. What deems something perfect? Why is it so important to be perfect? Why do I even want to be perfect? I ask myself these questions quite often when I hold myself back from things. Perfectionism is a challenge. It is the added weight strapped to your ankles as you try to approach the finish line in the distance. How many times have you given up on something because you did not feel perfect?
My blog almost never existed because of perfectionism and the pressure to be perfect. I stressed myself out about a good name, a good first post, a good theme, etc. I pretty much treated myself as if I was supposed to be a professional blogger when I never so much as signed onto WordPress before starting my blog in late February of 2016.
So where does this need for perfection come from? Well, honestly, I feel it varies from person to person. Some people feel they must be perfect to make people in their lives proud. Other people may feel the need for perfection because they just have that innate competitiveness about them that causes them to go all out or do nothing at all. For me, I feel the pressure to be perfect comes from the high standards I hold myself to and the fact that I see my potential and get discouraged when I don’t immediately meet the potential I have envisioned in my head.
So how does one overcome this need for perfection? Well, I compiled a short list of things that have helped me tell that little voice in my head that pushes perfection on me to pipe down:
- Realize you don’t want to be perfect- I put this one first because it is so important that you know that you shouldn’t want to be perfect at something. A piece of advice I have given to many friends is to strive for progress, not perfection. You don’t want to be perfect because then you have nothing to work towards.
- If you’re the best in the room then you’re doing something wrong- This one sort of piggybacks off the last one. If you are a dancer at a dance studio and you are the best dancer on your team by leaps and bounds (no pun intended), then something is wrong. Being the best means you are gaining nothing by waiting for everyone to catch up to you. Put yourself in environments that challenge you and make you feel less than “perfect”. You will grow so much more there.
- Realize that beautiful things come from imperfections- This applies both physically and skill wise, imperfections are what make people unique and special. You may hate your freckles or your inability to pronounce certain words properly, but that is what makes you special. In my eyes, too much perfection makes you super ordinary. Imperfections are the variety that spices up life. Embrace the imperfections because those are what make you you.
- The biggest blunders have made some great creations- Walter E. Diemer invented bubble gum by mistake. I read that he admitted that a couple years before he passed away. He said he was trying to do something entirely different and ended up with bubbles. His imperfect process led him to something that is still around today! If he were perfect at everything he tried, we wouldn’t have bubble gum! What I am getting at is, sometimes your imperfections help you create amazing things too! Don’t discredit them.
- Be yourself, the people who mind don’t matter and the people who matter don’t mind- I think I was told this phrase in middle school. It was a sort of “character counts”/”second step” program thing where we were encouraged to pursue ourselves in all of our 12 year old awkwardness and appreciate our individuality unapologetically. The point was to embrace yourself and your imperfections and all of the things that have made you unique and special. It was also meant to make you realize that the people who love you, love you with your imperfections and all.
So just remember, the next time you feel pressured to be perfect, you are the way you are meant to be and it is okay to be imperfect and grow and change at your own pace.