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Overcoming The Pitfalls Of Perfectionism

Perfectionism, the idea of being flawless, is a rejection of reality. This expectation can be self-destructive because there is no such thing as perfect since we are all different and unique. Perfection can only exist in our minds. And the idea of my perfect that is in my mind is not the same as the idea of perfect in your mind. This leads to expectations that can never be met, and repetitive habitual states of frustration and disappointment. This inner dynamic feeds the concern about how people see me instead of being who I really am. We choose perfectionism believing that if I look perfect, live perfectly and do everything perfectly, then I will be loved. It’s the belief that if I am perfect, then no one will judge me anymore. This is a lie we tell ourselves because judgement is about the person who is judging, not the person who is being judged! So, trying to be perfect is a trap that keeps us perpetually in self-judgment and out of “here and now presence”. In YOUniversity, an 18-week mindfulness program, we talk about how accepting reality as it is, embracing our true nature and choosing authenticity can be very healing for us. When we embrace our imperfection, our uniqueness, and accept that we are good enough, then we can strive to be our best and step up to create a fulfilling life. Otherwise we create from a place of self-judgment which will not expand our life. Perfection is judgment! There is no space for the unknown, no space for surprises. Imagine an artist expressing herself through an art piece; one cannot even imagine the artist’s expression being imperfect. Because it is just an expression! In our daily life our attitudes, choices, behaviours are also expressions of how we see, feel, perceive, live life.

Self-empowerment by self-development

Perfectionism is a defence strategy, an adaptation to a childhood environment where we perceived that we were not loved and accepted as we were. Perfectionism is the child’s attempt to figure out why. Why is no one paying attention to me? Why is no one accepting me? Seeing me? Or loving me? This type of adaptation creates a fixed mind-set where our value as a human being is based on how other people perceive us. Mistakes, failures and judgments are avoided at all costs because it can feel like some kind of death, confirming our childhood beliefs that there must be something wrong with us, that we are not perfect enough and that is why we are not worthy of love. So, we need to do some self-work to rebuild our trust in life, to be able to surrender, to allow imperfections and divine intervention to take place. In YOUniversity, we encourage self-empowerment by self- development. This is grounded in a reality acknowledging that human beings grow and learn through failures and mistakes. It is a realization that none of us are perfect, but we are all capable of progress, improvement and adaptability when we are willing to learn from our various life experiences and challenges, and put our energy and attention towards our desired outcomes, not perfection.


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