Notes on Perfectionism

Photo credit: Wysokie Obcasy

I had a friend who always used to say ‘If I look for perfection, I’ll find excellence.’ He even had it on his bio on social media. When I asked him what he meant by that, he explained,’ Even though I can never achieve perfection, inevitably, I can attain excellence.’ I think about that a lot because I was part of the perfectionist community who does not like to move an inch if what I do is not close to faultlessness. It is a suffocating feeling one goes through trying to reach a point far far away and yet, I still attempt anyway.

For me, perfection was the only way. I could give you a million reasons why I was the way I was including the ‘trophy child’ trope. However, when you zoom out from all the chaos and self-doubt, there is an oasis of trials and errors awaiting those who accept the humanization of our creation- in this case, realizing that we make mistakes and that does not make us incompetent. Paradoxically, this sentiment frees us from the shackles of our vanity and gives us a deeper outlook on how we should navigate our lives.

Through the years, I have come to know perfection as the devil’s advocate. It is an internal adversary that works against our well-being and growth. It steals our creativity and opportunities that come our way, leaving us stranded in the land where nothing ever happens. However, Life is for the living. The ‘happening’ makes the world go round and round. If we put every single thing we do in two boxes of opposites only; like black or white, good or bad, perfect or imperfect, where does the middle go? The ordinary? The okay?

Let’s keep in mind that everything we do, does not have to be perfect. Our value and essence are not determined by a specific activity that we do. We are valuable just because; as we are. That being said, as we live on, we can transform and adjust, to be better in every way possible. We can find solace in knowing that we are a creature of habit and adoption. Our purposeful strides ought to be filled with progression without the pressure of capitalism on our shoulders. I rest. 

Written by: Ruth Mekasha

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