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Stop Being a Perfectionist

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”  – Vivian Greene

Right from childhood, we’re always taught to be a perfectionist. Getting good grades and maintaining it throughout school is not just expected, but demanded. This soon turns into the demand for getting a perfect job, a perfect partner and a perfect plan towards a perfect retirement.

Sounds good? Nope. It sounds boring. It’s boring because a life dedicated to perfection in the future misses out the on the most important aspect of life – and that is making this very present moment perfect. Being perfect in the NOW. And such is the paradox of being perfect in the present moment that it can be only achieved by being imperfect. In fact, not just being imperfect, but absolutely falling in love with imperfection. Minimalizing perfection maximizes the action mentality.

Effort towards perfection is the leading cause for procrastination. You don’t always have to wait for the perfect moment to start or get things done. A lot of people always postpone actions that they know can improve their lives. They wait for everything to be right. If that’s the case, then you better be waiting in a comfortable chair because it’s not going to happen. As soon as you feel the time is just about to be right, something else will crop up and the whole cycle of delaying the all important action will start yet again.

Being a perfectionist sucks the energy out of you. Sure you may occasionally get the perfect result if you always follow a detailed and well worked plan. But at what cost? Every time that happens, you’re conditioning your mind in a way that the moment you think of taking some action that can make you happy, you’ll also feel the fear of it never happening because you’ll be scared of the effort that you would demand from yourself to make it happen in the first place.

This fear soon forms the voice in your head that tells you that you don’t deserve to be happy. That you haven’t done anything to “deserve” happiness. The only way to shut this voice once and for all is to fall into the habit of taking action. You want to travel the world? Do it. You want to get out of that miserable relationship? Do it. You want to quit your job and start a business? Do it. You have to build that “do it” muscle whatever may be the circumstance because the time will never be just right. This is what gives you self confidence.

By being imperfect, I’m not in any way implying that you have to take totally imprudent actions (though that’s still better than no action). It just means that once you have envisioned a decent plan (not a perfect plan), you dive into the thing. It’s called the “Ready, Fire, Aim” approach. Once you fire, you’ll be more motivated and happy in correcting whatever little things that need to be taken care of, because you’ll be satisfied that you took the action.

When you develop the habit of taking action irrespective of the circumstance, you’ll feel great because this habit is sustainable. No matter what the situation, you’ll be at peace with yourself as you’re not waiting for anything to pass. And when it does pass, it’s just a bonus that adds to your happiness. But you’re not desperately waiting for it to get over in frustration. You know that you would anyway live your life the way you want to, no matter what else is happening around you. Deep down you would know that the things you long for that make your life exciting are in your hands. This gives you great freedom and results in a mind that is relaxed.

They say whenever doubt, do the courageous thing. And being one with imperfection will require courage. But the journey will be worth it.

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