The Shocking Truth About Perfectionism

Perfection? Don’t be silly! It doesn’t exist.

I look in the mirror.
Do I like what I see?
Not really.
So much to improve upon – hair, makeup, wrinkles (sorry to swear…), in fact mirrors and shop window reflections can be so depressing.


Because the world is obsessed with perfection.
I’m here to tell you that it’s a wild goose chase. What we need to be chasing is, Unperfection.

I was delighted to be invited to write a guest post for The Unblogger. My blog, Positive Spin, focuses on the ‘Upside of Life’ so I delved into Marnie’s topics to see what came to mind.

Here’s my ‘take’ on why Un-perfectionism is the way forward.

1.      A Perfect Me?

Striving for a perfect appearance seems to have become an obsession. We’ve all read about the women who virtually live in the Cosmetic Surgeon’s consulting rooms.
And what’s the result?

Distortion, dissatisfaction, compulsions and misery.

Because wherever we go, whatever we have done to ‘improve’ our appearance, we take ourselves with us.!
We are still the same inside.
We have the same ideas, thoughts, uncertainties, anxieties, fears and of course… character imperfections.

If we were able to achieve this fantasy of perfection, we’d stop striving for it. We know in our hearts it’s an unachievable goal but still we continue to try to prove ourselves wrong.

I think it’s a case of ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes.’ No-one is brave enough to tell the person how inhuman and dreadful she looks after the multiple cosmetic surgical procedures.

2.      The perfect child?

I read about a Chinese mother whose child came home from school delighted with 9 out of 10 for a test. Instead of praising her child, she asked her why she hadn’t achieved the missing mark. How distressing for that little girl.

Some parents damage their children by giving them unachievable goals to reach for.

What happens?

  • they start to compare themselves unfavourably with their friends
  • they become obsessed with ‘winning’
  • they cannot deal with failure
  • they beat themselves up if they don’t get A Grades,
  • they might even develop anorexia as they get older

And so it goes on… and on.

3.      The perfect home?

I hate it when I visit a particularly obsessive neighbour. I must remove my shoes, even when it’s a dry day, I mustn’t lean back on the immaculate, plumped up cushions, I daren’t put a cup on the glass topped coffee table… I’m sure you’ve experienced it too.

What’s it all about?

Stepford wives? In Stepford houses? It certainly isn’t comfortable. It’s even a bit creepy.
And it certainly isn’t a home…
I know people who want this perfection in their houses but all they get is debt, OCD, stress and depression.

4.      The perfect partner?

I wrote about how we want to be able to tick all the boxes when we search for that elusive, perfect partner.

We have this ridiculous preconception of how he/she will be and we’re not prepared to settle for anything less. Until we realise that he/she doesn’t exist. Only in our imagination.
And then we find someone who is ‘perfect’, but only perfect for us, with loads of features that would not be ‘perfect’ for anyone else!

Let’s face it, striving for perfection can bring –

  • Frustration
  • Dissatisfaction
  • Dis-ease
  • Self-harm
  • Stress
  • Self-loathing
  • Obsessive behaviour
  • Misery
  • Unhappiness

Let’s fly the flag for Un-perfectionism.
The result will be –

  • Relaxation
  • Fun
  • Laughter
  • Reality
  • Enjoyment
  • Satisfaction

When I write my blog posts I have to tell myself not to strive for perfection. All I can do is the best I can. My writing will never be perfect, just ‘good enough’, always leaving room for improvement.

It’s easy to be bitten by the ‘perfection bug’. Once it takes hold it’s not easy to cure.

Be honest – have you tried to be perfect?
Who were you trying to impress?
Did you succeed?

Now it’s your turn.
Let’s have some fun in the comments.
Tell us about your attempts at perfection and how they turned out.
Over to you!

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