Do you ever feel like you are walking around trying to protect yourself from any kind of criticism that could come your way? Do you ever feel like you are doing your best to be the best at everything? To look the right way? Say the right thing? I know I have been in this place… I used to live in this place all the time. One word of criticism would destroy my entire sense of self-worth. It was as if one piece of advice or critique could shatter anything good I thought about myself. Now, this feeling comes around every now and then. And, it isn’t as debilitating as it used to be.
I am sharing this today in hopes that it might help some of you who suffer from the same sense of striving for perfection… First, I finally realized I will never be perfect or infallible. There will always be more to do and someone who will criticize. Second, I discovered that we are all perfectly imperfect. If we were all perfect, life would be quite boring. I had to find faith in the fact that being imperfect is part of the plan. Third, I realized every time I held myself to the standard of perfection I was missing a connection. I was striving so hard to do the right thing that I missed moment of being authentic and really connecting with those around me.
I am not sure what finally gave me the self-confidence to have these realizations. Maybe it is the practice of yoga and meditation. Maybe the practice of learning to accept myself exactly as I am in each moment. Maybe it was in the practice of letting go. I am sure it was a combination of these things over time. It was also due to the support of great teachers and spiritual friends. It is worth pushing though the perfectionism and finding out who you really are. Usually it is someone much better than the perfect being you were trying to be.