Louise Thompson: Perfectionism is a mirage
If you never feel quite good enough it’s likely that you are a bit of a perfectionist. Perfectionism is the ultimate double-edged sword. Yes, it might propel us forward towards our goals but it is also the cause of a huge amount of stress, pressure, sleepless nights, procrastination, quitting, and generally diminished wellbeing.
Perfectionism sounds like a good thing, but on closer inspection, there is a big difference between being a balanced and happy high-achiever and a perfectionist. Your body, health and happiness will really thank you for getting to know the difference.
Perfection is a mirage. It’s a standard you can never reach consistently. It feels like:
Life will be perfect when you get that promotion and then you get it but it’s not perfect yet, because you could do it better, or faster, or more efficiently. And so the goalposts move.
Or Life will be perfect when you lose 5kg. And you lose it but you still don’t feel perfect yet because your bum is not perky enough/ arms not toned enough/just another few kilos before you are “there”. The goalposts of perfect move. Mirage.
Or Life will be perfect and easy when the kids are old enough to go to school, but then they are and they do, but it won’t be perfect until they are really settled, and then they settle but it won’t be perfect until they ... etc etc. The goalposts of perfect move.
If we could see life just as a series of moves that expands us imperfectly, in a forward motion rather than trying to reach perfect but never getting there at all (or for more than 25 seconds) it would be a much more realistic and relaxed way to live.
Where in your life is that perfect mirage you can never really reach? The quest for Inbox Zero? The nirvana of an empty washing basket and a tidy house? List a mirage today, then let yourself off the hook. You will never reach it consistently, and that’s okay! You can give yourself permission to know life is unfolding just fine as it is: a work in progress in a state of imperfect but constant expansion.
Life coach Louise Thompson helps people unlock their happiest and healthiest life. Find more at louisethompson.com