Perfection is like death


After having been a witness to yet another client struggling with wanting to be perfect, I decided to write another blog on this desire that a lot of us have to be perfect. The question is: why do we think when we are perfect our lives will be better? More successful. More secure. More satisfying. With better relationships. And more salary. PERFECT…

I was once part of this tribe. And like my fellow tribe members I was always working towards more. And… never really finding it. As I achieved one thing, I already strived for the next challenge to overcome. Making me better. Making me feel better. And did it? Not really. It made me even more aware of how imperfect I was. With all the emotions and attitudes that came with that. And I see the same thing with my clients. So, what is the answer then? And is there an answer? My own answer was analyzing what was behind this desire to be perfect, which was a story of “not good enough”.

So, what is your story?
What are you telling yourself in your quest to become perfect?
Did you ever consider the possibility that you already might be “good enough”?
And, by the way, what are your standards for being “good enough”?
What if aligning yourself verbally, emotionally and physically would already produce a very authentic, wholesome version of yourself? A version that would feel “good enough”. A wholesome you that is okay with your strong points AND the points you would like to improve. Because, you see that is what it is. It is YOU who should define who you want to be. Not the outside world. Because whose standards are you following while aiming for this so-called “perfect” version of yourself, if they are not your own?

I would like to quote Pema Chödrön here, a Buddhist monk who considers perfectionism to be like death. According to their philosophy striving to be perfect is some kind of death. There is no fresh air. No room for something to come in and interrupt our status quo. We are killing the moment by controlling our experience. And we set ourselves up for failure here, as sooner or later, we WILL have an experience we can’t control. Mmm. Would CONTROL be the word to look at?