Are you holding onto the belief that who you are and everything you do should be perfect? Is 99% not good enough for you? Do you find yourself looking at the small bit you didn’t get done or do correctly instead of all that you did accomplish? Perfectionism is a trap; it actually prevents you from exploring who you really are, what your talents, abilities and capacities are, and what you might create that is uniquely yours. It also puts a big damper on having fun and thoroughly enjoying life! Deciding that you and all that you do, has to be perfect necessitates an enormous amount of judgment, and judgment is always contractive and destructive. Perfectionism also requires you to have rigid standards, and standards like judgment are always arbitrary. They are simply someone’s opinion – there is no actual truth to them.
“Perfectionism is a trap; it actually prevents you from exploring who you really are…”
So why do so many of us choose to pursue perfectionism? One reason is that it seems to offer a kind of safety. If you can be “perfectly” behaved as a child, you won’t be criticized or punished. For many of us, there was so much judgment in our families that we turned to perfectionism in order to be considered blameless and make sure that we could avoid any negative judgment.
In the same vein, if you can be the “perfect” wife or husband or employee, then you can make sure that no one can find fault with you. The difficulty is that trying to be perfect robs people of their true uniqueness and prevents any real change. The perfect flower is a plastic flower. It never wilts or dies, it just stays the same, and it is very devoid of life!
It’s a good thing that very young children don’t buy into having to be perfect! If they did they would never allow themselves to learn to walk, since it necessitates falling down which is definitely imperfect walking! Nor would they eat, since very little food seems to get into toddler’s mouths. These examples may seem a trifle absurd, but they are actually accurate in depicting what a need to be perfect creates. It stops you from growing, changing and creating anything. One young woman I know refused to go water skiing because she wouldn’t be able to do it perfectly. Have you ever allowed yourself to be stopped or limited by a need to be perfect? Most of us have, but there is good news!
“All it takes to get out of perfectionism is a willingness to let go of judgment.”
All it takes to get out of perfectionism is a willingness to let go of judgment. Without judgment, standards and perfectionism can’t exist. This may seem scary at first, as many of us use judgment to motivate ourselves and keep ourselves “in line”. But letting go of judgment will open the door to you having more possibilities for life than you’ve ever imagined! In place of judgment, why not try allowance. Allowance is: everything is just an interesting point of view, neither good or bad nor right nor wrong. (All of which require judgment). Allowance is not about being a doormat or never taking action, it’s about a willingness to be aware of what is, and to choose from that awareness. When we allow ourselves to let go of perfectionism, we free ourselves to be more of who we really are, and to change and create beyond what anyone else has decided is good or bad. Does that sound like a more interesting life to you?
“Allowance is: everything is just an interesting point of view, neither good or bad nor right nor wrong.”
If you enjoyed this article and would like to know more about Access Consciousness, check out our show on Voice America for more.
Dr Dain Heer, the co-creator of Access Consciousness was interviewed on the show “The Place of Perfection”, you can watch the replay here.