If you believe it is attainable, you will seek and never find it, you will strive and never achieve it, you will think you've got it and then something will happen and you'll realize you never had it to start with.
It will suck the joy from your life.
There are many of us who have experienced the crippling behavior of perfectionism.
It makes you feel like nothing you are or do is quite enough or quite right.
It leaves you constantly trying to be more, do more, achieve more, make things better and better, until one day you will be able to breathe easy knowing you are perfect, everything you have done is perfect and everything around you is perfect.
It stops you from finishing anything, or it stops you from celebrating what you do finish as you're too busy looking at what you wish you had done better. This cripples your soul, it torments your mind, it suppresses your creativity, it limits your progress and it slows the pace at which you produce anything (personally or productivity in the workplace). It affects the outcomes you generate and it drastically impacts your enjoyment.
It will cause you to focus on things that simply don't matter, at the expense of things that truly do matter. It will lead you to see faults, where right next to those faults complete beauty and magic exist.
It will lead you to think you are someone role modelling excellence, when in fact you are role modelling paralyzing over-analysis and complete imbalance in priorities.
It will affect your home life and your career. It will affect your self-esteem and your relationships.
It will impact your thoughts and feelings, and give rise to unnecessary tension and stress.
You will never be perfect, because perfection is not possible.
Perfection is an illusion. Life by its very nature is imperfect, and you as a human being by your very nature are imperfect.
Additionally, your entire life from birth to death is a process of expansion – to learn and evolve. Perfection goes directly against this process. If you were perfect, and your life were perfect, then you would be done! You would not be here. You could not fulfil the very progression that is inherent in your human nature, and so what would be the point of your life?
Perfection also denies the value and uniqueness of all your imperfections, of all your quirks and development areas, of your beautiful weirdness that you know and I see, and your loved ones adore. Perfection would make you vanilla. You were born much more flavoursome and colourful than that. Your job here in life is to give full expression to every ounce of who you were born as, not to try to fit yourself to a societally defined and unattainable plastic model of “perfection”.
By all means strive for excellence. Have high standards. Face every moment of every day with the intention of being your best self, and giving your all and creating memorable outputs. That will allow you to have inner peace. That will lead you into success. But don't confuse that with crippling perfectionism. They are completely different perspectives, and give rise to completely different life experiences.
I know all of this because I used to be a perfectionist. So, if you want to change and someone tells you that leopards can't change their spots, tell them to keep quiet while you prove them wrong!
With love, Bernadette
Bernadette Logue (known to everyone as “B”) is the Leader of The Daily Positive, a Transformation Life Coach and the author of 3 personal growth books – guiding you on how to master your mind, to live consciously and soul-aligned. To receive regular coaching resources and support, join B in EvolveHQ, The Daily Positive’s private personal growth membership and community. To find out more about B click here.