Why you don't always need to be perfect
You're under pressure.Huge pressure.Whether consciously or sub-consciously you're under massive pressure to look good,sound good and generally come off an an intelligent,well-rounded individual which can sometimes be a bit of a tall order.It can be a tremendous burden to feel the need to be edgy and cool all the time.
Hence,I advocate imperfection.By this, I mean we shouldn't try to hide our flaws and come across as impeccable.Because let's face it-everyone carries baggage in one way or another and setting the record straight with people as to where your abilities do and don't lie can be far more advantageous than masquerading perfection.
This can have a range of benefits across the spectrum of life.
First and foremost,showcasing imperfection can,paradoxically,win you friends.How strange! Conventional thinking would dictate that making out that your the mack daddy or queen of cool would propel you to the higher echelons of the social hierarchy.
Admittedly having the uncommon idealised Mary Sue/ Gary Stus features equal big bucks when it comes to cashing in on friends in our skin-deep society. Bu for mere mortal who wish to benefit in the long-term, studies at Harvard University routinely suggest that as human beings it is immensely reassuring when someone makes mistakes.It is a reminder that one is human and the people around them are equally human prompting peers to feel more at ease in their company.Hence, imperfection can indirectly score popularity points.
Naturally, there's a balance to be struck:perpetually falling flat on your face or digging yourself into cavernous holes of social faux pas time and again is never a good idea. So, whilst not making a habit out of it, bear in mind that the odd gaffe, even if it attracts initial scorn, can strengthen your interpersonal relationships in the long term.
Also,on a more spiritual level,exhibiting imperfection enables you to have a more involved role in the world.I don't mean to be too spiritual and aeri-faerie but it appears that we all have some part to play in this world.And after all,if you go about constantly trying to attain that picture-perfect image that you wish you were,real life drifts away.You become an observer rather than a participator of life.You feel discontent with your circumstances,disenchantment with the world, and all of a sudden nothing feels worthwhile.It seems the secret to living life to the fullest lies in denouncing that warped model of perfection.Don't keep glancing over your shoulder at what you think you should be but instead,keep your eyes on the road and try and focus on working on who you are.As theoretical as this sounds, if you haven't already, watch the video just below on the right of JK Rowling's Harvard commencement speech and decide for yourself.
"Who is happy? One who is happy with what he has"
-Jewish axiom, Ethics of the Fathers
#3:Bad for your health
Furthermore,whilst it's healthy to strive for success,what's not healthy is what I like to call, Obsessive-excessive disorder (or OED for short :) ) where your obsessive and excessive perfectionism can actually come to your detriment.It is widely know that constantly feeling hellbent on attaining perfection can wreak havoc on your physical health.Just ask anyone with the sister disorder,OCD.
Your brain is thrust into overdrive so you're releasing the stress hormone,cortisol,a lot more than you should.This can lead to high blood pressure and a whole host of stress-related illnesses.
- In an anonymous survey carried out by British newspaper The Times on its readers,a whopping 76% of people said they felt unworthy in day-to-day life.
- Losing our sometimes impractical or even delusional prerequisites of worthiness and instead having the courage to believe we are worthy as we are is something we all ought to think about
- "We spend money we don't have on things we don't need to create impressions that won't last on people we don't care about." -Tim Jackon,Professor
#4:Makes you a better person
And perhaps most important of all,accepting yourself for who you are makes you a kinder person.If you have a clear, non-distorted view of your own limitations, chances are you'll accept others' and thus be kinder and more forgiving.Leaving the rat-race of attaining perfection makes concentrating on more worthwhile goals far easier.
Whilst I'd advise against sticking two fingers up at the world or flaunting your flaws,it may be time to stop thinking about what other people think of you and more about how you should think of yourself.Accepting your imperfect self,warts n' all and taking a more relaxed view of the world may be the best thing you ever did.
Please,please don't use this as an excuse not to try hard.Give a million schmillion per cent every time.Just remember that it isn't always desirable to be top dog all the time and it really isn't worth the effort agonizing about it.There will always be bumps along the way and accepting that neither you or life is perfect will ensure that you ride more smoothly over them.
Some wise words:
"If you are not willing to look stupid,nothing is ever going to happen to you"
-Dr Gregory House
"The pursuit of excellence is gratifying and healthy, the pursuit of perfection is frustrating,neurotic and a terrible waste of time"