According to Wiki:
“The oldest definition of “perfection”, fairly precise and distinguishing the shades of the concept, goes back to Aristotle. In Book Delta of the Metaphysics, he distinguishes three meanings of the term, or rather three shades of one meaning, but in any case three different concepts. That is perfect:
1. which is complete — which contains all the requisite parts;
2. which is so good that nothing of the kind could be better;
3. which has attained its purpose…”
Well; we are talking about the second one: It is so good…!
That perfect sundown with gentle breeze blowing, that perfect moment when you are with your loved one and nothing in the whole world to compare to…
Back to reality please!
First, try to answer these questions:
- Can you chase that elusive feeling of perfect in everything you do in your life and still be happy and content?
- Do you look for imperfections in others and feel the need to correct them?
- Do you measure yourself on”Higher Standards” than the ones around you?
- Do you beat yourself down every time you fail a task and worry about what others think of your failure?
- Your parents expected you to be an “A” student all through your school life.
- You like “Neat” to the utmost of order.
- Did you put off finishing your work time and time again because”It is Not Good Enough”?
- Do you have “All-Or-Nothing” aptitude?
If you answered Yes to most of those questions; then you are my friend are overdosing on perfection!
Sure, pursuing perfection is a step in the direction of success and achievement ; BUT, it is the obsession of making it your life style, your every day routine without the hint of making mistakes. And it has its own roots in our personality:
- Seeking perfection all the way up:
The good side of perfection chase is the relentless drive to succeed, tackling the obstacles and reaching our goals. Roedell said:
“In a positive form, perfectionism can provide the driving energy which leads to great achievement. The meticulous attention to detail, necessary for scientific investigation, the commitment which pushes composers to keep working until the music realizes the glorious sounds playing in the imagination, and the persistence which keeps great artists at their easels until their creation matches their conception all result from perfectionism.”
One of the characteristics of successful persons (in our perception Almost-Perfect persons) is their ability to take failure as an option, deal with it and turn it around to their advantage.
- Following Perfection all the way down:
On the other hand, seeking perfection in everything we do can lead to our own undoing. We start to fear failure and what negative thoughts other people might have of us if we did in fact fail:”My perfect party was a disaster, I’ll be the talk of the town tomorrow”. We start to put things off until we can get them”Just right”, and with procrastination comes depression and low self-esteem.
We turn into ”Underachievers” at work, because we take too much time to perfect our daily assignments. Our personal relationships suffer from the high expectation and the demands we wrongfully put on our partners to make them Perfect.
Even our own bodies start to pay the price: Too little of sleep, too much of stress and eating disorders. Not to forget a high risk for OCD obsessive compulsive personality disorder and Heart disease.
Finding the balance:
Here are a few thought you might find helpful on your way to recovery from Perfection Overdose:
- We are humans: With a built-in ability to make mistakes; if you do accept that you are human; you have to take in the idea of Imperfect, and this is your first step to Perfection Overdose Rehab.
- There is always tomorrow: If you stumbled trying to reach your goal; there is a good chance you will reach it if pick yourself up and try again.
- Love yourself: Accept your own Imperfections as a part of what you are, flaws and quirks are what gives you character.
- Learn to be flexible: It is never too late to change; as you learned over the years to be Rigid, do it ”All-Or-Nothing” and “Always the Best” you can learn that there are unrealistic expectations you might not be able to reach, so what?
And finally; I leave you with William Faulkner words to ponder:
“All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection. So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible.”
© 2011, M Z. All rights reserved.