As a recovered perfectionist, I have only experienced benefits from letting go of this perception. This has encouraged me to want to share this with anyone who will also benefit from it.
Being a perfectionist was so time consuming! I was always the one getting projects in later than others. It took me 3 times longer to do housework than it really needed to. It took me 6 months longer to create and be in the right mindset to start, let alone run, my business. The list goes on.
As the person handing in projects last / very close or sometimes beyond deadlines made me insecure. I found myself not being as communicative about what I was doing or lying about how far along a project I was - only to have it catch up with me later of course. I didn't feel comfortable with any of this but I also didn't know the cause.
I receieved some feedback from a colleague a couple of years back who suggested that when I've finished the project, don't go over and over and over it. It's done. It can be a first draft or a version 1.0 but either way it's done. Get it in. I can always come back to it when I have some free time to touch it up.
It took me some time to get into the swing of this, but it worked! I felt so much more relieved and weighed down. I was meeting deadlines, most of the time, and actually ticking the tickboxes on my to-do lists. I hate to-do lists... but that's a post for another time!
When I started studying psychology and neuro-biology, I became curious about who we allow ourselves to become based on our beliefs, views, opinoins and perceptions. I learned that, like many other things... perfect... is a perception.
How is perfect something we perceive!? Is a question I couldn't get to grips with the answer to for far too long. My belief in perfection being a necessity for me to control other people's perceptions of me was so strong that I couldn't open up to facts until I'd broken down why and where this comes from.
The answer to this question is actually quite obvious when we think about it.
Change happens all the time. Even once we've mastered a skill or completed a project there's always space for change and evolution. Therefore if something can always be changed, even once it's in a complete state, then perfect doesn't exist.
You heard me... Perfect doesn't exist. It can't.
Also, perfect is variable from 1 person to another. Therefore, the standard can never be truly fulfilled.
Three synonyms of perfect include: flawless, faultless and incomparable. Standards which in reality, cannot be met.
Take this article for example... I could choose to spend a lot more time on it to make it what I deem to be perfect or what could be considered perfect by others. Or, I can choose (which I have) to write it, proof-read it and post it. This means...
Is it flawless? No. Why? Because everyone has their own writing styles therefore this could be re-written in a multitude of ways.
Is it faultless? No. Why? Apparently it's not good English to start a sentance with "And," but I love doing that (plus I'm a rebel to the rules!).
Is it incomparable? Not at all. Why? Other people will have written about this topic before me and others will after.
So what are the benefits from letting go of believing in the perception of perfect?
It makes life less stressful
It allows more time to do other things
It enables other ways of thinking
It showcases more of our personality and what makes us, us
It shows we're human! And, that's more important now than it's ever been!
The photo of choice is intentional. The left one is posed, the right one is candid. To me, the right one is a way more relateable and therefore a better image. Others will perfer the left. Both are fantastic shots! Neither can be perfect because...
Perfect is a perception not a fact. Let... it... go!