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Is Trying to Be Perfect Ruining Your Life?

Andrew
I make a mean omelet, but it’s never going to win a Michelin star. I can string a sentence together, but I’m no Shakespeare. And my singing voice sounds great in the shower, but would have customers demanding their money back if I did a solo gig at the Royal Albert Hall.

I do have high standards though. Standing on a really tall ladder and touching the moon high.

But I gave up on perfection a long time ago. You know perfection, right? It’s the thing that keeps you awake at night; the thing that makes you feel like you’ll never be good enough; the oppressor who never lets you be yourself.

Up there with using your own feet to flavour a home-made soup or watching 24-hour rolling news, chasing perfection is a spectacular way to ruin your life

Pursuing perfection in a task, project or behaviour is pursuing the impossible out of fear that your best might not be good enough or that others will see you’re not good enough, and it challenges you to always do better, to be perfect.

Like breeding cattle with the sole aim of birthing a unicorn, perfection is an unattainable target that puts “feeling good enough” always out of your reach.

Perfection robs you of any chance to have a sweet, dumb, beautiful life. Pursue it and you’ll never be free.

Perfect is fiction

Or perhaps it’s more a choice of perception. After all, there’s the perfect song for your mood. The perfect time to call a friend. The perfect meal with people you love.

Perfect is a sense that things are fine, right now, just as they are. It’s choosing to soften into the moment and to stop needing things to be a certain, impossible way.

It’s having confidence in who you are rather than feeding a sense of lack by trying to be something you’re not.

Bollocks to chasing perfection. You’re already there.

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