Are you a perfectionist? Is the tyrannical reign of perfectionism keeping you from living to your fullest? Do you experience paralysis? Avoidance? Procrastination? Does perfectionism prevent you from starting or finishing a project?
When we are in a perfectionist mindset we expect more from people and projects than is helpful or realistic. We buy into the fallacy that we will be happier, more fulfilled and more loved if certain, if not all, things are perfect in our lives.
Get your Mad Libs on: If this ______ (noun) is perfect then _________ (pronoun) will _____ (emotion verb) me.
Did you answers surprise you? What was your emotional verb? Did that verb point to a desire for connection?
At the root of perfectionism is the desire to connect. (click to tweet)
But here’s the thing…
Perfection impedes true connection. (click to tweet)
Perfection creates masks and barriers that prevent people from truly seeing us. The primary definition of perfection is without flaw. If something is flawless, it is also impenetrable. As a deeply flawed person, I don’t know how to relate to something that is flawless. It is our flaws that expose our vulnerabilities and humanity. It’s in that space that we can connect to each other.
When I was confronting my own perfectionism, I discovered a more obscure definition of perfection that changed my life: lacking nothing essential to the whole. Read that again: Lacking nothing essential to the whole. If I’m practicing integrity, honoring my commitments, being present for my life and living authentically, am I lacking anything essential to whole? I think not and neither are you.
I am and you are imperfectly perfect.
Next time you feel the beast of perfectionism rising inside of you, remind yourself that you are imperfectly perfect. Let that desire to be flawless flow out of you and actively connect to another person.
What were your Mad Lib answers?
How does perfectionism manifest in your life?
What do you do to move past perfectionism?