Are you hard on yourself and have a stick up your ass when it comes to perfectionism? This is a discourse on perfectionism, why it is both a blessing and a curse, and why most people have it. And why perfectionistic self-love is the solution.
Perfectionist- I am one of them
It’s 7 o’clock in the morning – I’m brushing my teeth, looking in the mirror and asking myself, ‘who are you and what is this pimple on your nose all about?’ Then looking at my body, and seeing a thin, bony body – nothing to grab on to. Yes, I am one of those rare women who want to be fatter. Then looking at my bathroom thinking, ‘that badly needs to be cleaned’. Then anger arises because my boyfriend should have done this weeks ago. Well, it seems my day starts for me and probably for many other women with negative reflections and emotions. Why do we have to be so hard on ourselves? Why do we think we have to be perfect in our beauty? Why does every aspect of our life have to be perfect?
This advertisement made by Dove shows how critical we are about our bodies and how seldom we are just content with what we have.
It is our cultural background, values and ideals that make us love to be perfect. Hollywood shows us exactly how – at least at that point where everything seems to be perfect. In many movies the end is the marriage where they live happily and healthily until their end of their days, perfect in every sense. A goal many aspire to a life full of harmony, the perfect balance, the perfect diet, the perfect health, the perfect relationship, the perfect body, the perfect job and yes, the perfect vagina. What does ‘perfect’ mean? Certain measures of perfection are given by society, family and the mass media and other measures given by common sense. For example in the Dove video I posted above, a beautiful chin is described as being beautiful by virtue of its being thin – this conveys the message that a perfect chin has to be thin. A beautiful painting by Michaelangelo is perfect because of its geometries and the proportions of its Renaissance Humanist concept of beauty.
The Curse of Perfection
What does Psychology think about Perfectionists? Perfectionism often comes with an excess of self-evaluation and being concerned what others think about us. A Perfectionist who doesn’t reach his/her goal can also fall into a depressed state. There is a constant pressure to meet the standards we are striving for; consequently there is never a state of relaxation.
A Blessing of Perfection
A person who is a perfectionist is striving for a high performance, with the standards of being the best in either one or many aspects in life. They will give everything to be not 100%, but 120%. They are simply people with a lot of willpower. Perfectionism can drive us to reach our goals successfully, accompanied with high satisfaction. Michaelangelo wouldn’t have been able to paint his astonishing pieces without his perfectionism.
I am Perfect
Why I am a perfectionist? Because I believe down that route lies a deeper wish for my fulfillment! Not only for artificial things like my body, my career or my lifestyle but also on the level of my true essence. Being a perfectionist shows the high aspiration and the attempt to become perfect- something we actually already are. It’s just that we think we need to actively do something to achieve it- and that’s ok.
Absolute perfection is here and now, not in some future, near or far.
The secret is in action – here and now.
It is your behavior that blinds you to yourself.
Disregard whatever you think yourself to be and act as if you were absolutely perfect
– whatever your idea of perfection may be.
All you need is courage.
― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj