How the Desire to be Perfect Can Affect You

Although I have never seen the movie, and after reading some of the other quotes from it, I am not sure the movie would fit into what I’d like to discuss here but after seeing the following quote tattooed across my son’s best friend’s chest, I wanted to talk about what the phrase meant to me.  “May I never be perfect,” quoted from Fight Club, written by Chuck Palahniuk really made me think.

I did not discuss with Jory in detail about what this quote meant to him, other than the fact that he liked the movie, but I can only imagine that if he went through all that pain to get the tattoo, the phrase itself must have it’s own meaning to him as well.

I would never want to be perfect.  Not only is it too much pressure to maintain but if I were perfect, there would be nothing greater to strive for.

Several people have disagreed with me but I do not believe there is such a thing as perfection.  We may have areas in our lives or our looks that may be considered perfect but I think there is no such thing as being completely perfect.

After reading my blog post from yesterday, http://peaceandhappinessproject.blogspot.com/2013/06/10-ways-to-improve-your-self-image.html, “10 Ways to Improve Your Self Image,” Melissa, one of the readers mentioned that people around her feel that she thinks she is perfect and they are constantly pointing out her flaws because of it.  As it turns out, it isn’t how she sees herself at all.  It would upset me to know that the people in my life I care about are constantly watching, waiting for me to make a mistake or prove my lack of perfection.

I think we put a great number of people up on pedestals only to realize they are just like you and me.

Please do not misunderstand.  Some may feel that if perfection is not obtainable then why should they even try?  This is not the message I want to send.  Should we strive for perfection?  Absolutely.  Wanting to be the best we can be is an admirable trait that not everyone has.  It requires deep desire, ambition, dedication, and the strength to keep moving forward.

I feel that if we strive for perfection, we should be willing to accept that we will never completely reach it.  We should not allow ourselves to get stressed by letting negative thoughts to enter our sub-conscious when we realize it, nor should we let the desire to be perfect consume our every move.    Being weighed down by the stress and anxiety of pushing for perfection on a consistent basis and not reaching it only sets us up for feeling like a constant failure, leaving us in a negative state of mind.  (As stated in my previous blog, I cannot stress the importance of staying aware of what we are thinking.)

Anthony Robbins uses the acronym, CANI to describe his principle, “Constant And Never-ending Improvement.”  That is the state I would like to reside in, never perfection.  The difference here is the realization that perfection is not obtainable but improvement is a step forward toward being a better you.  With this philosophy we recognize that we have room for improvement and we can better ourselves by improving one thing at a time.

wrote an article for About.com called, “Perfectionism and Panic Disorder, How Perfectionism Can Impact Panic and Anxiety” in which she notes that when people set such high standards for themselves in order to reach perfectionism, they are more prone to psychological issues and possibly even physical illness. The acceptance of others becomes so important that they strive at all costs to reach it, in turn causing such issues as panic disorder, OCD, social anxiety, distress, loneliness, depression, negative thinking and self blame to name a few.  She states, “This ideal sets a person up for failure, disappointment, and negative self-evaluations. Perfectionists are often very self-critical, and may even scrutinize the performance of others when it doesn’t live up to their impractical standards.”

May I never be perfect!!  I want to leave room for failure in order to learn from my mistakes.  I want to be able to be relaxed in my life and not stressed about the possibility of not reaching perfection with all that I do.  I want to live by the CANI principle and feel comfortable knowing that the definition of doing any one thing perfectly can and will change and there is room for it, even after it’s completion.  I just feel that if I allow myself to not be perfect and accept that I am not but continue to improve myself, I will be happier and more at peace because of it.

I want to hear from you.  I am certain there are people out there who oppose my thoughts here and I would love to hear your side.  Please discuss your feelings on this below.

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6 thoughts on “How the Desire to be Perfect Can Affect You

  1. If everyone was perfect then relationships would be borring. We learn from our environment, interactions and experiences. If everything meet perfection then everthing would be the same for all. Not good in my eyes. Things should be stired up and unique to all.

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