Everyday Inspiration: Perfectionists Need Apply
(There was never anything broken and nothing to fix. The world, like you, has always been Imperfectly Perfect just as it is.)
Dearest Imperfect Perfections,
I have a friend who always looks at sunglasses when we go shopping together. This person already has a perfectly beautiful (and expensive) pair of designer sunglasses on their face, not to mention the drawer full at home. However, they are convinced that there will always be a pair that is better, prettier, and more fabulous than the ones she currently possesses.
I have another friend who is engaged to a man. However, she is always looking at and flirting with other men when he’s not around. She has even convinced herself that it’s perfectly acceptable to ask us, her dearest friends, to let her know if someone better comes along. After all, she hasn’t walked down the aisle yet!
Why have we convinced ourselves that what we are doing right now or what we have isn’t good enough? How long have we felt compelled to exhaust ALL of our options, before we choose just one? Because we have a fear that we might overlook something? We spend a lot of time obsessing over the little things, always second guessing ourselves, and often once we make a decision we start looking ahead for the next best thing. We think, “What if I did it wrong and it was obvious to everyone else”?
We look for our mistakes before they even happen, ultimately sabotaging our progress in the future. We never end with what we truly desire because we always keep it out of reach. Your actions are being driven by the fear of missing out.
Ironically the very fear of messing up or doing something wrong is a self-fulfilling prophecy. All you’re doing is creating and recreating a life that revolves around this thought that something is not right and, therefore, it won’t be.
Why do we always think there is something wrong with our current situation? We feel compelled to constantly add to it because it could be: Better! Faster! Smarter! Longer-lasting!
It’s like when you find yourself at a restaurant and feel that the lighting is too bright, the room is too cold, the food is overdone and the right people aren’t there. You feel justified in your unhappiness because there are plenty of examples “proving” that if these things were different, you could and would be happier.
The “if only” list goes on and on.
I have done this myself countless times and I can tell you that, from experience, it all comes down to this. If your desire is to be more content, happy, and successful, you need to stop thinking that you’ll find this any place other than inside yourself. If you don’t, you’ll always be dependent on the outside world for your happiness, constantly in a state of flux where you can’t control your environment (no matter how much you believe you can). You can only count on your environment to change and be as it is. The best course of action you have to reaching happiness is to focus on how you react and respond to the environment around you. It takes a real awareness of what’s going on in your space.
“Always ask two questions of life; do you see it as fulfillment or a threat? Either way will cause suffering. Life was meant to be accepted in the moment.” – Eckhart Tolle
Perfectionism is just another Scorecard. Yes! Just another way we judge and condemn, issuing undue warrants against a whole host of things. We believe that it is people, family, and society that is keeping us trapped and providing us with all these standards that we have to achieve in order to become somebody Real. You don’t realize who is really doing the judging. The only scorekeeper is you.
You will never be happy if you look for something to be different to make the moment acceptable. You will never be happy if you believe you need to get or add something to the moment because there’s something missing. You will never be happy if you believe that you need to fix yourself by adding something more to what you already are.
Perfectionism has an unlimited capacity to promote suffering and insecurity. There is no such perfect anything. No scenario will ever be perfect because life is always dynamic and changing. When these thoughts of imperfection arise and want to find something wrong with the moment, one must be very vigilant. Instead of giving them the attention they demand, shift your focus to give them a detention. That way they can’t interfere with your new practice of accepting the moment the way it is.
Becoming aware does not mean that you give up the right to have an opinion towards anyone or anything. Quite the contrary, it allows the moment to be as it is and gives you the freedom to interact with it, allowing a True freedom for you. You are not dependent anymore on an external event to change or appear different for you to experience peace, happiness, or contentment. This is true freedom.
You are free to be okay regardless of whether the lights don’t work or the dog pees on the carpet. You now have the kind of clarity and conviction that you have so often craved. For you now know that regardless of circumstances, you are okay.
Yes, that’s right.
You will always be okay. In fact you Are more than Okay. There was never anything broken in the first place, there was nothing to fix. When you believe this, it will reflect on the outside and you will cease to see outwardly situations as missing or lacking anything. They, like you, are perfectly imperfect.
Your internal world reflects your external world and the two have to come together. Accept yourself and at the same time you will be accepting the outside world as it is. When you Accept the moment as it is without wanting to change it, without being unhappy about it, then you have arrived at the door of your true happiness.
It makes no difference if you get on the wrong plane or marry the wrong person, at the end of the day there comes a time to make decisions with the kind of clarity, conviction, and fearlessness that comes when you take action. Action based on knowing who you are and whatever presents itself is what it is.
If You react out of conditioning and fear, you will always see something wrong or missing with the situation and try to fix it with an outside solution. When you see the things as the imperfect perfection they are, then you will see there is nothing for you to do but to BE in that space. Witnessing and experiencing.
Yes, it’s easier to discard and buy something new, but then you have invested nothing. The same is true with situations. It takes much less commitment from you to just blame someone or something else for ruining the situation. Yet you then cease to take any ownership of it: which is your reaction to it.
This will keep you from knowing, feeling, and possessing the kind of clarity and faith that comes from taking 100% ownership of your life. The kind of life that is lead with conviction and purpose. You’ll see nothing to fear, nothing to feel insecure about because you get that from yourself. You don’t measure your worth by someone else’s scorecard.
Every day will bring a new set of situations. Now you know that the only person judging you is you. You are the only one capable of giving yourself permission to allow the moment to be as it is. Perfectly imperfect, without judgment.
When you are able to accept the moment for what it is, you naturally find the kind of happiness that has been eluding you for so long. Because it was always there in the first place. It’s just that you weren’t able or ready to accept it.
Are you ready?
As you take each step I will be there reminding you of your Magnificence, and I will continue to do so, until you are able to see it in yourself. © Copyright. Jennifer Annenberg Productions. 2013. All Rights Reserved. This publication may not be reproduced under any circumstances without the written consent of Jennifer Annenberg.
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