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Perfect Vs. Perfectionism

 “The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.”

~ Anna Quindlen

I love words and one of my favorite is ‘perfect’. 
Brene’ Brown in The Gifts of Imperfection, says that there is no such thing as ‘perfect’.  I would offer the idea that ‘perfect’ is more a state of mind than an outcome.  When I say, ‘perfect’, it means “I’m open to possibilities” or “Your decision is great!”  I’m not tied to the outcome. 
Then, why does perfectionism get such a bad rap?  Because, the pursuit of being perfect at all times in all situations is rooted in shame. Not being or doing what we really want because of what we perceive other people will think is not being authentic.  Coming up short of that goal is even more shame-filled.  When we expect that everything in our world needs to be perfect – or we cannot move forward unless it is – it causes us more harm than good.  When you are not treating yourself with compassion, it is time to take an honest look at it.  Trying to portray to the world that we are perfect is not about excellence, it is about fitting in.  Nor is it about being who we are, or accomplishing what we want to do. 
You want to dance alone?  Perfect.  You want to sing out loud in public?  Perfect.  You want to color your hair green? Perfect. Because, if that is how you show your authenticity, it is perfect.  (However, if you’re my daughter and want to pierce your tongue? …oh, not so perfect.)
Wait a minute!  If we are striving to be authentically ourselves, then doesn’t that require us to allow others to be their authentic selves as well?  Well, dang!  I guess that means I shouldn’t judge people for their choice and criticize if it isn’t as I expected.  
Just maybe – instead of judging someone who is taking a chance in this world at being authentic – we instead put our focus on striving for authenticity ourselves.
Let’s go forth and be imperfect today.  
I dare you.