I’ve become more aware of an affliction that many of us share – it’s our quest for perfection and high achievement. It’s a striving, a daily challenge, an itch that we keep scratching. It’s filling every minute of the day with activities to feel a sense of accomplishment as we cross them off the list. Not only perfectionism exhausting, but it can cause us to procrastinate and not take chances on new ideas for fear of judgment. What if we seek perfection, but what we really need is FREEDOM.
Seeking to do something well is not the real problem – high standards and exceptional quality are beautiful virtues. It is our quest to achieve an unrealistic goal, the punishment we inflict upon ourselves if/when we miss the mark, and our fear of judgement from others that indicate that this quest is not without cost.
What if we sought freedom instead of perfection? What would freedom look like in our daily lives? Choosing freedom over perfection allows for more creativity, joy and peace in our lives. Freedom allows us to remove the shackles of our own self-constraints and instead experiment with self-expression and growth during the process.
It is not easy to decide to abandon our need for perfection, and in my experience it’s something I work on daily. I’ve found that by making small changes daily I was able to add more freedom, passion and purpose into my life.
- Incorporate more creativity into your life. Sketch, color, draw, write, cook, bake – experiment with hobbies just for pure enjoyment. Choosing activities that can get messy and are subjective allows you to experiment with completing tasks without needing them to be perfect.
- Do something that scares you everyday. Maybe it’s writing an article, posting a video, or starting a new activity. Determine what is good enough, instead of waiting for it to be perfect. Trust me, it’s not as scary as you think it is, and by practicing things that scare you more often, the fear and worry will dissipate.
- Eliminate what is not necessary and what doesn’t bring you joy from your daily list. Some things end up on our lists everyday because we feel the urge to fill every single minute of the day with activity. It’s ok, and actually healthy for us, to take time to rest, to think and to be fully present in the moment.
- Add your self-care to the top of your daily to-do list. If you do not fill up your energy tank first everyday, you will not have anything left to give to others. Add items to your daily list that focus on your health, your growth and development, and your happiness and peace.
- Start saying “no” to things that don’t matter and saying “yes” to things that align with your dreams. How often do we say “yes” because we feel like we should, or because we don’t want to disappoint those we care about? Others’ agendas don’t need to become your to-do list.
- Stop comparing yourself to others. We each have a 1 in 400 trillion chance of being alive. Each of us has unique experiences, skills, talents and interests. Focus on what brings you joy and start there.
Every day is like a blank piece of paper. We cannot control or choose all of our circumstances, but we can choose to focus on activities that create more peace, passion, purpose and freedom in our lives.
Let me know what you are adding or eliminating from your list.