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5 Reasons Why it’s Time to Let Your Pursuit of Perfection Go

Want to be significantly happier? Take a close look at your pursuit of perfection. It may just be weighing you down.

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Photo by Nick Demou
Photo by Nick Demou

I used to strive for perfection but then I realized it was outdated, subjective, and ultimately unattainable so I let that sh** go. Since then I’m significantly happier, at far greater peace, and way more successful.

Here are five reasons why it’s time that you let your endeavor for perfection go, too:  

Perfection is Outdated: Celebrate and Embrace Your Differences
It’s important to question why the struggle for perfection exists within you in the first place. Likely you’ll flash to external influences from your childhood, perhaps starting with clergy that said you were born in sin. Labeled unworthy in need saving, maybe you were taught your path to salvation was to be Christlike.

Besides considering how long ago that was, emulating Jesus or other nonsecular entities quickly becomes archaic when you envision how individuality would drastically stifle if everyone strove to be one version of perfect. Compare it to someone saying the perfect flowers are daisies, just the daisy, so all other flowers should do their best to be the daisy. Sorry, not sorry – that’s crazy! Humankind has evolved to celebrate and embrace differences.

Perfection is Subjective: Stop Trying to Measure Up for Others
Besides religious indoctrination, there were probably other authority figures fueling your drive for perfection. Measuring sticks were created to prove your worth based on what mattered most to them, and for some that changed with their moods. There were teachers who constructed bars, dad said good girls kept quiet, grandma told you it was important to always look your best, or mom always asked, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ As children we lack the cognitive ability to question, so teachings and demands became hardwired programs that heavily influence how we live our lives and operate in the world as adults.

If you find yourself still fighting to meet other’s versions of perfect, I have great news: You can stop. Welcome to the freedom of adulthood! If others accuse you of being selfish, pose this rhetorical question: Isn’t your desire for me to please you a better definition of ‘being selfish’? The only measuring stick you should be carrying is your own. 

Perfection is Unattainable: Pivot that Energy to Pleasing You
Logically speaking,it’s impossible for us mere humans to attain godly perfection. If you’re aiming for this, then you’re wasting precious time. Even worse, you are beating yourself up at every turn for not being humble enough, mild enough, long-suffering enough, etc. The same goes for trying to meet anyone else’s standards of perfection given subjectivity.

Since attaining perfection is a pretense, pivot that energy into defining your version of a perfect life. Identify what makes you happy, what’s important to you, and who you see yourself becoming. Let this vision be what you strive for.  

The Perfection of You: Your Uniqueness is A Superpower The truth is and has always been: There’s nothing you need to do to prove your worthiness. There isn’t and has never been anything wrong with you. You are perfectly perfect as you are. If this doesn’t resonate, the next time you see a flower stop and get up real nice and close to see the blossom itself, and notice its poise doing exactly what it was meant to do. It sprouted, budded, and blossomed not into a tree, not into a cactus, but into the species of flower as defined by its DNA.

Born with a specific personality, characteristics, strengths, weaknesses, and with experiences across your lifetime shaping you, you couldn’t be any more perfect at being you. What an extraordinarily beautiful species you are!

It turns out your differences makes you highly valuable to companies, too. Personality tests like Gallup tout how organizations achieve greater success when they leverage a multitude of perspectives and strengths. Diversity studies affirm the same, showcasing tremendous value in embracing differences across a multitude of spectrums including how we look (race, gender, age, etc.), how we think (neurodiversity), and everything else that makes us unique. Embrace your differences because, in fact, your individuality is one of your superpowers.

Life is Too Short: It’s Time to Show Up and Shine
Worrying about what others think and aiming to achieve outdated and subjective versions of perfection undermines and undervalues the perfection that is you, and it squanders your precious time. The world is clamoring for authenticity. The world needs you to be authentically you now, in all your glorious uniqueness. No permission is needed, so go ahead and let your light shine through.

Your version of perfect is the only one that matters. It’s high time to let go of those you cling to for the sake of being saved or to please others because, they’ve kept you from focusing on what truly matters to you long enough.

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