Who Said Anything About Being Perfect?

It's time to leave Perfection town

Dear God

“Help me not to be a perfectionist (did I spell that correctly?)”
“Help me to relax about insignificant details, beginning tomorrow at 7:41:23 am”
“Help me to not try to run everything….but, if you need some help, please feel free to ask me…..”

Mmmm, sound like someone?

Where exactly have we got the message that we need to be perfect? Where was that written down, because I can’t for the life of me seem to remember ever seeing it anywhere. And yet, we all try to be perfect.

Well I don’t know about you, but I’ve decided to give up striving for perfection and have decided that EXCELLENCE is a better objective.

When we aim for perfection in everything, I think, we are unconsciously setting ourselves up for certain failure. After all there’s only ONE way to be perfect in any particular endeavour and SO many ways (an infinite number of ways) to be less than perfect. For example:

*What does it take to ruin a perfect day? Just one little 15-seconds of unpleasantness

*What does it take to ruin the perfect “significant other?” Just one little annoying habit

But excellence takes into acount our “imperfections”.

Subsequently, it also becomes extremely liberating to stop demanding that everyone else be perfect too (and believe me THEY also feel liberated!)

I discovered that my own urge to be perfect was a need to CONTROL everything and everyone. But we don’t have to control the creative process. In fact, we can’t!!! We just have to get what we really do want clear in our minds and proceed from there, through the rest of the process. Now instead of thinking about being “better than” or “the best at…”, I just aim at being really good at what I am doing. It now feels right, and it gives me a LOT to reach for, because there’s definitely a “gap” there to relax into. But now, this objective doesn’t beat me over the head every time I make a little mistake….and it keeps me from beating other people over the head when they make mistakes too!

Hmmm, maybe you would like to resign your position from the Perfection Police.
I mean think about. People who call themselves perfectionists are really IMperfectionists. They are always looking for what’s wrong, not what’s right.

So my prescription: Expect excellence from yourself in a way that motivates and inspires you, but don’t set yourself up to fail at being perfect every minute.


  1. Oh Dear Vanessa,
    How much did I need this post today? A whole hell of a lot! Yes, I have found perfection only makes me fear moving forward as I might make a mistake, Lord help me! Excellence is all about striving to live your best life,n not the perfect one. Besides, I've hung out with "perfect" people and they can bore the pants off of me!
    Thank you so much for this bit of wisdom and inspiration

  2. @Bodeci Body. You are so right about perfectionists being boring to be around. Like you, it's a step by step, day by day process for me too. Thanks for stopping by sweetie!

  3. Oh you are oh so right! Excellence it is :) Oh and yes I think I'd love to come to Spain...do you know I've never been before?

  4. Wonderful blog!! Those cookies look so good too!


  5. Vanessa - a beautifully inspiring post. And such a great point. Thank you for sharing this.

  6. @Bursting at the seams and @Shannon:
    Thank you for popping over. Pleased you got something from the post :-)

  7. Wonderful and inspiring - thank you for your words of wisdom!


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