It’s one thing to say ‘nobody’s perfect’ as many of us say from time to time. But in a world in which – in my view – perfectionism makes people feel bad about themselves because they cannot live up perfectly to its demands (nobody can) we need to take the statement seriously.
Self compassion would ask this: if nobody in the house, the country or on the planet is perfect then why should you beat yourself up because you’re not perfect either?
No perfect people
None of the beautiful things we see around us was made by perfect people. Yet these things are beautiful although they undoubtedly contain flaws.
How many beautiful, useful or fun objects or happenings have we missed out on because of perfectionism? One of its effects us to make people put off starting or finishing projects because of a fear that they cannot reach some high standard which probably wasn’t reachable in the first place.
A richer world
How much richer the world would be if the imperfect things had been completed. And it’s safe to assume that some of these would have been of a good, even high, standard – some people’s ‘good enough’ is often very good indeed. What a pity they often abandon the effort because they cannot reach the impossible standard of perfection.
So drop the demands of perfectionism, bring self compassion to bear, and aim to do things well – or in a way that is ‘good enough.’
This, I think, is well worth reflecting on and taking to heart – doing so can open the door to peace.
The practice of self compassion can help you to set perfectionism aside while still being good at what you do. It can help you to enjoy a more friendly relationship with yourself. My 15-lesson online course True Friend can help you to foster and practise self compassion. Payment is by donation. Learn more here.
See also: Changing unwanted behaviours – turn to the true friend.
Image by Isabella and Zsa Fischer