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Why you shouldn’t strive for perfection

There was a time not so long ago when all I wanted to do was change everything about myself. There was no particular reason for this, nothing I could pinpoint or put my finger on anyway. There was just a nagging self doubt that lingered relentlessly. I thought that if I changed the way I looked, changed my personality or went about things differently that I would be more successful. I didn’t even have anything specific in mind to quantify how I measured and defined success, I just knew that I needed it. I strived to be perfect in everything I did, I set out to fulfil my own high expectations and I set goals that I thought would enable me to achieve everything I hoped to achieve. In my quest for perfection, I forgot the things that were most important. In order to be the best version of me, I didn’t need to be perfect, I just needed to accept myself for me and to learn to be comfortable in my own skin.

It has taken me a long time to realise that my idiosyncrasies are what make me unique. I wouldn’t be me without my quirks and my flaws. I also realised that it’s ok when things aren’t quite perfect. Imperfection can be beautiful, especially when it’s real and it’s honest and it comes from a place of integrity. Not everything we do has to adhere to an ideal or reach a certain level of perfection. This is particularly pertinent when being creative. It’s a lot more self fulfilling to create openly without restriction and without worrying and overthinking.

Overthinking is often due to worrying about situations beyond your control or worrying about other people’s perception of you. It can be quite hindering to go through every possible outcome of a situation in your mind before doing something or going somewhere. Being creative enables you to let go of the need for control, you can immerse yourself in your own world and do something just for you. I often overthink situations, particularly in relation to what people may think of me or how the things I am doing will be perceived. It’s difficult to eradicate this, particularly as the world around us presents us with ideas about how we should be and what we should achieve. It sometimes seems as though everyone is striving for perfection and we need to do the same to keep up. I find that being creative really helps me to channel my energy positively.

When I embrace my imperfections and stop trying to define myself by the level of perfection I achieve, my creativity reaches new levels. I can write better, create more openly and think clearer. The feelings of low self esteem and lack of confidence dissipate, taking with it the feeling of ‘I’m not good enough’. No one can say what’s good enough other than yourself. The best thing I ever did was to stop setting unrealistic goals and striving for unachievable perfection. Don’t get me wrong, goals are great. Having goals and milestones is a great way to achieve success and increase productivity, as long as you don’t lose yourself in the process.

If I could go back in time and give my younger self some advice, it would be to live in the moment, be yourself and don’t be afraid to be different. I spent so much time worrying what other people thought of me that I restricted my own creativity and personality. Being creative is beneficial on so many levels and there is perfection to be found in most things if you know where to look for it. The things that are seemingly imperfect to you may seem nothing less than perfect to someone else.

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