Perfection is never real, and our reality can never be perfect, so why change ourselves just to try and achieve such an unreal status?
It is human nature to pursue perfection, and our desire for perfection starts with the desire to become happy. With social media currently being the largest influence on teenagers across the globe, the strived-for-but-unattainable standard of being “perfect” comes along.
When we can’t control the world and our circumstances, we lose love for ourselves, and seek to control ourselves by striving for an outward brand of perfection instead.
Is this some sort of mental disorder? Not quite. While most of us may not like to admit it, perfectionism is a very current risk factor confining people in various disconcerting disorders such as obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, eating disorders, social anxiety, and body dysmorphic disorder.
In our culture, we move persistently towards greater prominence through social accomplishment, and through that, we seem to lose the capacity for wonder and admiration and what it may mean to live well. Most of us feel pressured by society and end up trying to change ourselves -- not for our own betterment, but for those around us.
But, in my opinion, what society is projecting on us isn’t really perfection -- it is what they want us to think and what we should be like, when in reality, what all of us want is to just be ourselves.
Spending our chi on something our innermost essence doesn’t yearn, we foster seclusion, misperception and agony; generating a major chasm amid whom we truly are, and who we wish we were, which gradually makes us visually and mentally impaired to what we truly want.
We therefore bind ourselves in this prison, overcome by depression, anxiety, or disease. Behaviours such as binge eating are only one of its consequences.
We try sabotaging our efforts and punishing ourselves for not meeting our ideals of perfection. In many households, children learn that certain feelings and traits are “bad,” and that certain aspects of themselves are unacceptable, giving way to self-hatred. This, subsequently, becomes a way to inundate oneself in self-hate in order to escape self-hate itself.
Most of us feel pressured by society and end up trying to change ourselves -- not for our own betterment, but for those around us
This drive to perfection is typically driven by the environment. By listening to our friends, peers, culture, media, etc, we let them wield power over us, therefore allowing something outside of ourselves to rule our emotional state and wellbeing.
Moving further into the new year, let’s forgive ourselves for all our faults and all the misery we have brought upon ourselves by yielding this power over to others. We’ve all made mistakes, and that’s alright.
Let’s develop greater self-compassion and focus more on the positives than the negatives.
Let’s learn to accept ourselves first. Then let us accept our differences, regardless of external opinion. If people begin to acknowledge you after you’ve changed, it means that they haven’t really accepted you for who are.
Remember that things may not always fall into our bags appropriately, but that doesn’t mean we should be depressed, because there’ll always be space for learning and enhancement. You may not be even close to flawless, and you don’t need to be. Live freely in the moment.
Live your truth, speak your truth, love your truth, and certainly guide others to do the equivalent. There’s nothing more courageous than that. Most importantly, seriousness doesn’t need to be taken too seriously. See the illusion and learn to laugh at your unfeasible demands to be perfect.
Enjoy your reality instead of giving up in despair. You are you. Follow your intuition and live a life that you are thrilled of.
That is perfection.
Happy new year to all.
Samiha Rashid is a freelance contributor.