[box_dark]I once read that being a perfectionist is the worse form of self-abuse. I don’t think I agreed with that statement when I first read it because I was and am a recovering perfectionist, but now I do. The need to be perfect is a very torturing one. No matter how good your appearance or performance may be there is this little voice in the back of your head pointing out everything that was wrong or could be better. No matter how many compliments you get, it’s that one criticism or that one wrong look that screams the loudest. At the very core of someone suffering from “needing” to be perfect or even wanting to be something other than themselves, is the belief that “as is” they are not good enough.
The reason perfection is the goal is it’s a futile attempt to prevent criticism. Perfectionism is a “covering of all the bases”, so there is no room for criticism. Criticism to other is not the same to a perfectionist. Criticism to a perfectionist is a white heat of pain and embarrassment rushing their soul. It’s painful and embarrassing for two reasons. First reason being that someone could see an imperfection, which enforces the belief that “you” are not good enough. Secondly, someone could see an imperfection that the perfectionist did not catch him or herself. This is a double dose of pain. It is not just a problem with a perfectionist’s appearance or performance it’s anything associated and connected with them, like family, friends, job, or a favorite sports team. It is anything that can be connected to the sufferer on an emotional level.
Within my personal and professional life, perfection has prevented me from pursuing my dreams wholeheartedly. Les Brown said, “The lack of confidence to act results in lost opportunity.” I always felt the need to “perfect” my craft before I gave the world an opportunity to see it. How many times have I written stories, quotes and blogs, even before blogs existed. I can’t tell you how many revelations of personal development that imploded my mind as I scrambled to write them down on napkins, tissue, receipts and sometimes my arm. These ideas and thoughts were literally earth SHATTERING; simply the best life changing thoughts to be encompassed in the written symbolism of words. After I critiqued it for hours, I found all the weaknesses and those thoughts were bundled into a notebook, never to see fluorescent light again. I am horrified to think what inspiration may have been destroyed written on the back of a Wendy’s napkin.
Perfection demands that you become more than what you currently are. And we should all aim for improvement, but this is abuse. That voice in your mind is not there to better you, but to destroy your self-esteem and self-perception. I couldn’t accept the genius of my gifting because in essences my gifting was an extension of myself. If I wasn’t perfect- I was nothing. A lot of this may originate from your childhood, but the majority of the abuse is yours and mine. We need to understand what every parent already knows, a child is perfect simply because they exist, and we are ALL God’s children.
Article written by Maximus Wright