Pressure of Trying To Be Perfect

Photo by Michael Fenton on Unsplash

"You are loved just for being who you are - just for existing.  You don't have to do anything to earn it.  Your shortcomings, your lack of self-esteem, physical perfection, or social and economic success - none of that matters.  No one can take this love away from you and it will always be here."  ~Ram Dass, "Be Love Now"

One myth is:  perfection is attainable. 

It definitely is not. 

What’s attainable is:  embracing and loving your perfections and your imperfections at the same time.

A second myth is:  people in the helping profession – such as coaches, therapists, healers, etc. - whom are committed to "the work"- have it all figured out. 

They/we definitely do not. 

In fact, those whom are most committed to "the work", have lives and circumstances that are set-up perfectly in order to serve others while continually evolving themselves.  

I am constantly reminded (and humbled) that I’m still growing, evolving and becoming – and that the “real work” is allowing myself to evolve and open up to allow more light in. 

I'm also committed to acknowledging, owning and integrating the dark - places within me that I perceive as being less than or lacking

Without being aware of these aspects of me, how else could I continue to evolve and self-express? 

How can any of us?  

As the great Debbie Ford said:  "The greatest act of courage is to own all of who you are - without apology, without excuses, without masks - to cover the Truth of who you are.  

One of the greatest misconceptions out there is - those who are courageously being seen and heard in the world haven't struggled with their self worth.   

What if that isn't true? 

What if the struggle is what makes the art?  

I recently saw a quote that said:  

You know why it’s hard to be happy?  It’s because we refuse to let go of the things that make us sad. 

So very true.

Yet, the things that can make us sad can also be our greatest teachers.  It's knowing how to view the sad things not as anchors that weigh you down or hold you back, but as mechanisms that give you your wings.  

So if the beauty exists in the full picture - light & dark - where does the pressure to be perfect come from?  

Think of all the messages, images, opinions, etc. you receive on a daily basis.   At least as an adult, you have the awareness and can be discerning and know you have a choice to agree or disagree.  

Yet, imagine when you're a kid that your belief system is being formed by external sources (media, authority figures, peer groups, etc.) and you don't have the luxury of being discerning. 

Essentially your self image is being formed and set in stone without  your knowledge or permission.  

This is why the pressure to be perfect and the expectations you have on yourself can feel heavy and high and you aren't sure why you can be so hard on yourself. 

You may be measuring your worthiness against other people's measuring sticks.

The first step in any change endeavor is self awareness. 

Pay attention to where you may be putting pressure on yourself to be perfect. 

Then ask yourself, what measuring stick am I'm using to access my worth? 

Then ask yourself the most fundamental question of all: Is my worth measurable?  

As always, it's your choice.


 

 

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