Letting go of perfection
- By Stephane Leblanc, CEO, International Centre of Conscious Leadership
Perfectionism is an addiction and a disease. I suffered from it for a very long time and I finally cured it at 45 years old after a lot of pain and suffering, This has opened a whole new world of possibilities as I was able let go of my my old world view that life needed to be perfect and I embraced a new worldview that life is full of possibilities.
Perfectionism is a self destructive and an addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment and blame. - Brene Brown
At some point during my youth, I decided that if I was perfect, people would love me. I spent the majority of my life defining my value through the eyes of others and by the appreciation they showed me and I did everything I could to be perfect.
Through my transformation, I have discovered that the quest for perfection is a very paralyzing behaviour as no one can be perfect all the time and when we are trying too hard to be perfect, we often avoid doing things that are too risky because we want to avoid failing , being ridiculed or showing your imperfections to others.
Perfectionism robs us of the pleasure of fully exercising our talents or trying new things and it also robs us from the pleasure of learning as we learn most when we fail. As wise man once said that we never really fail, we either succeed or we learn.
As I am committed to help everyone I know rise above their fears and limiting beliefs so they achieve their full potential, I always try to make them see their potential, to believe in it and try their very best every day with no concern of what other people think.
The greatest prison that people live in is the fear of what other people think. - David Icke
I often meet people who live well below their full potential and impact because they are trying to be perfect. They will work only on a few things because they are committed to make them perfect and perfection takes a lot of time. They severely limit themselves with this profound need for perfection.
We all need to realize that we are already perfect in all our imperfections. This is what makes us human.
Can you imagine how boring the world would be if we were all perfect? It would be as if we were robots.
By letting go of perfection, we can embrace excellence. There is a huge distinction between perfection and excellence. Perfection paralyzes as it leaves no room for error and learning, while excellence energizes as it allows learning from mistakes and failures. Excellence honours the fact that life is a school and that we are on continuous learning journey.
When perfection is driving, shame is riding shotgun, and fear is that annoying backseat driver. - Brene Brown
The challenge with perfection that it is programmed into kids when they are very young through parental expectations, the school system or through sports. Kids are expected to do their best to get the best grades and get the best results in music or sports. and there is sometimes a lot of drama for the kids if their results do not meet expectations. This is how this need for perfection is transferred from one generation to the next.
If you are truly committed to rise to your full potential and step into your greatness, you need to make the choice to let go of perfection and and embrace excellence. You can also encourage those you lead and those you love to do the same as this will eliminate a lot of drama and stress in your life and will bring you a lot of joy and fulfilment.
Pursuing excellence over perfection is the path to achieve your full potential.