“Nothing I do will ever be good enough.” “I can’t enjoy nice things until I’ve achieved my goal.” “I shouldn’t express my opinion; people might think I’m stupid.”
If you’ve ever had any of these thoughts, chances are you’re someone who always strives for perfection. You have this image of your ideal self in your head, and you’d do anything to be that person. To be someone that wakes up early every morning. Someone that goes to the gym, eats healthily, has great friends, a successful side hustle, and a luxurious apartment.
We’ve all been there at one point or another. We’ve all thought that if we could just get rid of all those pesky little flaws that hold us back, we could finally be happy.
This feeling, this constant need to be perfect and please everyone, can be suffocating. It can dominate your life and even your dreams. You might find yourself struggling to relax and enjoy the present moment because you’re always focusing on what comes next.
What’s the next thing you can cross off your bucket list? What’s the fastest way to lose some weight, gain a bunch of Instagram followers, and find your soulmate that will finally complete you?
Sooner or later, you might find yourself petrified. Stuck in one place, afraid to act, afraid to be. Because what if you make the wrong choice? What if by doing what you want, you ruin your chance at the ideal life?
Or you might also end up on the opposite side of that spectrum. Instead of being stuck, you’re moving way too fast, making sure you’re ticking all the boxes. You take time off to relax because you’re afraid that if you did, the illusion would collapse, and you would become a failure.
But here’s the thing: None of this is actually healthy. Always striving for perfection isn’t going to make you happy. In fact, it’s probably what’s making you miserable in the first place.
Salvador Dali once said: “Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”
He was right.
Perfection isn’t an attainable goal. You’ll never be perfect. There will always be at least one thing to fix. A single hair out of place. An extra pound you need to lose. A relationship that has its hiccups.
Ultimately, no matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, you might never achieve this idea you have of the perfect self. But that’s okay. Because perfection isn’t real. It’s glamour. An illusion. Something that looks good from the outside but is hollow and empty once you dive in any deeper.
You only have this one life. Why waste it on trying to be perfect? Why not just embrace the imperfections and live your life to its fullest potential for once?
You have a choice: You can either keep pushing – keep on trying to achieve this impossible goal. Or you can relax. Breathe in. Live. Let go of the fake and be real for once.
Life shouldn’t be about to-do lists and perfect routines. It should be about living. Authentically, true to who you are on the inside.
Stop telling yourself that you’ll be worthy once you have that new car, shiny promotion, or perfect husband. Stop waiting for outside approval. It won’t bring you anything substantial.
Realize that you’re worthy now, just as you are. You don’t need to change to be happy. You don’t need to achieve greatness to be adequate. You’re good right now. You’re beautiful as you are. You’re valid, and you deserve all the happiness in the world.
So, stop trying to be perfect. It’s not necessary. It’s a thing most of us do out of fear. Fear of not being enough. Fear of abandonment. Fear of failure. It’s time you finally ditch that fear.
Try doing something courageous for once. Something brave. Like being yourself. Being real. Living in the moment and being authentic.
That’s the bravest thing anyone could do. It’s also the only thing that will make you truly happy.
Imagine this: Instead of putting yourself through strict routines that make you unhappy; you just let go. You wake up when your body tells you to. You eat food that makes you feel good. You laugh at silly jokes. You go out with friends, and you meet new people.
You make mistakes. Sometimes you slip and fall, but you always get back up. Because mistakes aren’t bad. They’re not keeping you back. They’re what makes you alive. What makes you learn. What makes you live.
If you always strive for perfection, you avoid mistakes at all costs. But mistakes are how you grow, how you become the person you were meant to be. Looking for perfection only leads to stagnation.
You can’t grow if you never learn anything. And there is no better way to learn than to live your life with all you have. Ironically, striving for perfection is what’s keeping you from actually becoming better.
Perfection isn’t achievable. It’s also boring. Even if you somehow achieved all your goals and dreams, even if you did become the ideal human being – it wouldn’t be perfect. You’d have nowhere else to go. Why chase a dream that’s both unrealistic and undesirable?
People don’t love you because you’re perfect. Or because you’re trying to be. They love you because you’re you. With your flaws and ticks and quirks.
If you want people to see you, and to appreciate you, start appreciating yourself. Let go of these ideas that are just holding you back.
Stop trying to be perfect. Be real for once. It will change your life for the better.