(4th entry of a 4-part series)
There is no absolute perfect. There never will be. The state or quality of perfect is purely subjective; it is defined by each person differently based on their feelings, perceptions, and ideas. It will always change. It doesn’t really exist.
With that said, I’d like to say there is perfection in the ability to be flexible and change. One of the definitions of perfect is, as good as it is as possible to be. Every day you have the opportunity to be as good as you can possibly be. You can learn from your past and choose to change yourself in the present to help you feel pride, accomplishment, and satisfaction within yourself.
Once you determine whether you’re striving in a healthy manner that brings you pleasure, or whether you’re focused only on an outcome with a mindset of pass or fail, you can transform any action or thought that causes you to feel negatively about yourself into one that helps you feel positively about yourself, by:
- setting time aside to think about your task and efforts
- asking for help
- doing research and gaining more knowledge
- connecting with others who have similar goals and ideals
- laughing at yourself and your humanness
- asking for help (no, this is not a typo, we women often need to be reminded again and again to ask for help)
- realistically remembering your past and how you’ve lived through events without being perfect
- realistically looking at your present (You only have so much time and energy available. Do what you can today. Tomorrow is another opportunity.)
- comparing yourself only to yourself. Have you made progress from yesterday? Last week? Last month?
Reflecting on why I started this search for information about perfectionism, and using the tools I’ve since learned, I deduce that today I don’t feel that I’m in a war with the rest of the world. Today, once I clearly stop and think about my actions, I know that while others may not like my philosophies, words, or actions, they are true and right for me. Today I have strength of character and conviction.
You can too.
If each day you strive to take the next right-step to the best of your ability with honest loving intentions, you’ll be living as perfectly as you most honestly can. And you’ll be fully alive and building confidence.
Also, you may find solace, inspiration, and relief from feeling you need to be perfect in the words of Teddy Roosevelt, our 26th President of the United States. “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”