There are so many ways in which we expect perfection from ourselves. It is easy to get wrapped up in the idea that we are not good enough. To be the perfect person, partner, parent, to have the perfect career or relationship. The truth is, there is no such thing as the perfect person. The idea of perfection is itself imperfect. There are no exact guidelines on how to achieve perfection. The person that each of us strives to be is a concept that us unique to each of us.
Everyone has flaws and ways in which they can improve themselves. I am a work in progress and will remain that way until the day I pass. I know this because I will never cease to grow as a person, to understand, to learn. Because of this, I will never be perfect. That does not mean that I will not be happy. I am capable of happiness with myself even if I have not attained my goals yet.
Recently I heard a comment that essentially amounted to, “Who cares if a celebrity is caught photoshopping their pictures?” At first I completely agreed. Yes, who cares? Let them present themselves in whatever way they want to. But the more I thought about it, I realized that yes, I really do care. I care because of the impact that it has on others. I care because I have sat in a room with young women that think their “thigh gap” is not big enough, their stomach is not flat enough, or that their body is somehow wrong or flawed in some other way. Of course, many, if not most of us are aware that we live in a digital age where things are not always what they seem. But, that does not stop those images from subconsciously having an effect on our expectations.
People are often fooled by the idea that by changing something about our outside, that will fix something about us on the inside. Perfection is not the same thing as being the best version of ourselves. The idea of perfection is what holds us back. It serves as the negative voice in our mind that tells us we are not good enough or need to do more. Rather than providing a drive to work harder, it ultimately slows you down.
What would it be like if you spent the same amount of money or energy on improving your internal well being, rather than just the external? Would you be happier?