The Chase …
“But I want it”, said the little girl with teary eyes. “I really, really, really wanted to attain that perfect grades”, as she said this to her mother, tears rolled down her cheeks. Her face reflected the strong emotions and stress building and she just broke down. She pressed her forehead against her mother and began to let her heart yank in and out of her chest. I stood there in an immense silence, gazing at her out of pity. My mind soaked in thoughts, began to wonder… Why did she feel the pressure to attain that perfect grades? What could have influenced the little girl to achieve those perfect grades? I was clueless not knowing what to do; I realized that it was a matter of grave concern.
Perfection is all we want… Perfect family, Perfect face, Perfect mother, Perfect employee, And perfect everything! Where does this obsession for perfection comes from? Who’s responsible to set this trend? Don’t deny the bitter truth! The need for perfection is usually transmitted in small ways from parents to children, some as silent as a raised eyebrow over an A rather than an A+. Perfection, of course, is an impossibility in reality which often leads to procrastination. Do you often look at other’s lives and compare them with yours? Does this make you question whether you are beautiful, smart and happy enough? If yes, then you may be a perfectionist who constantly strives for flawlessness, perfect performance in whatever you do… But let me tell you, this is unattainable! Leo Tolstoy rightly says, “If you chase for perfection, you’ll never be perfect”.
Today, we are all striving for perfection, this makes our life an endless report card. It paves a way for anxiety, depression and the feelings of worthlessness may start to build in. This reminds me of a video clip, I saw a long time ago … “Agyness Deyn, internationally renowned model and a talented actress, sets an example before others when she falls head over heels on the ramp not once but twice, and with a worry-free attitude lands on her feet, carelessly taking off her shoes and walking the rest of the show barefoot during her 2010 runway show.” The only way to be happy in a life obsessed with perfection is to accept imperfections and realize perfection is not something to do.
If a person is inwardly or outwardly obsessed with perfection, he/she may end up feeling “not good enough” like that of the little girl. I’m reminded of a quote from Martin Luther King’s letter to his fellow clergymen from a jail, which says: “If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work”. Don’t you think he is right? Of course, he is! If you start focusing on every single criticism one may have about your work, you’ll never be able to move on with other tasks assigned to you.
This will diminish your ability and negatively affect you. Perfection is an abstract idea, something that we humans have made up in an attempt to make us all better. Therefore, the next time someone tries to impose unrealistic standards of perfection upon you, then be bold enough to say, “I’ll do what I can”.