Perfect Illusions

Perfectionism is rampant today. No wonder so many career-driven people are unhappy. On the outside they appear to have it all – success,great lifestyle,fabulous looks.However,on the inside it’s a different story. In many cases they feel desperate,frustrated and unhappy. Peace of mind and a sense of satisfaction elude them. Striving to be perfect all the time is exhausting. Babara Streisand,a well-known perfectionist, says, ” Demanding perfection is a cold way to live. Imperfection has humanity in it.” If you have fallen prey to this trap,cut yourself-and those you love-some slack. Being perfect is an illusion.

Brenda was always impeccably dressed and groomed. Evey morning she walked into the office looking like a fashion model. Her workmates bristled with envy. How did she do it? She had three little ones at home all under the age of eight,and still managed to look great.

One Friday,at an important management meeting. Brenda was presenting at the front of the boardroom. When she turned around to demonstrate her Power Point Slide,everyone focused on the red velcro roller embedded in her hair. We all loved Brenda a little more that day!

Perfectionism dishonours us. The sad fact is that as a perfectionist,we may be controlling our feelings of inadequacy,but we ‘re no joy to be with. Think about someone you know like Brenda,who never has a hair out of place,does everything well and thinks she is always right. How do you feel being around this person? Exactly! It’s not a lot of fun.

A good question to ask a perfectionist is, “How is it working for you?” If perfectionist was classified as an emotional disorder. I believe more people would seek the help they need to free themselves from its destructive grasp.

Perfectionism is either directed at yourself,directed at others,or both. The former-inwardly focused perfectionism occurs when people are too hard on themselves,pushing relentlessly to achieve unrealistic goals. They don’t dare make mistakes. Failure is a reflection of their worth. They see failure as proof of incompetence.Letting go and being easier on themselves is difficult because they internalize failure.Self- oriented perfectionism is a form of self-rejection.

Perfectionism can also impose ultra-high standards on others. When this happens,relationships often suffer because it seems like other people are always letting them down. They become frustrated because other people fail to meet their demands. Wanting others to do their best is one thing but expecting perfection is setting them up to fail.

Losing an illusion makes you wiser than finding the truth- Ludwig Borne