2: Paralyzed by Perfection


What does perfection mean?  Merriam Webster Dictionary defines Perfection as the below.
Having no flaws or being unsurpassable?
If just reading those two points gives you a stress headache, you are not alone.
A 2018 Harvard Business Review article highlights that the World Health Organization has reported record levels of severe depression and anxiety orders in young people, and that this is related to unrealistic expectations of professional and academic achievement, how they should look, feel, etc.
In other words, depression and anxiety are increasingly related to perfection.  
The research by Thomas Curran and Andrew P. Hill was published in the Psychological Bulletin, and found that in a study of over forty-one thousand American, British, and Canadian college students from 1989 through 2016, their levels of self-oriented, socially prescribed, and other-oriented perfectionism all increased by statistically significant amounts.
More importantly, the socially prescribed levels of perfectionism increased at twice the rate of the self and other-oriented perfectionism.
What does that mean to managing our perfection?
We need to remind ourselves again and again that success is an inside job.
We have to define success by our own measures, no one else’s.
One big step to releasing from your perfectionist tendency, is to practice this 1 minute meditation every time you are paralyzed by perfection and find yourself struggling with high expectations created by ourselves, others around us, or even social media.
This 1 minute meditation can help you release yourself from the identification of YOU = perfect.


Perfection Meditation:

  • Close your eyes.
  • Take a breath in and feel your hands ball into a fist
  • Envision the perfection ideals which you are gripping so tightly. Perfect health, perfect job, perfect family, perfect body, perfect life.
  • Release your breath and let go of the grip of your hand. Feel yourself letting go of these ideals of perfection with the exhale and the release of your hands.
  • Repeat 5 more times.
  • Feel your hands getting less tight each time and the release easier and easier.
  • Let your hands sit open with the palms facing up in your lap
  • Take a deep breath in, hold it for 5 breaths and then sigh it out
  • Say to yourself “I am not my [insert what you are trying to control…health, job, family, body, etc]” and keep repeating it 5 more times, breathing in and out with each repetition.
  • Take a deep breath in, hold it for 5 breaths, and then sigh it out.
  • Open your eyes.
Progress is perfection Don’t believe me? Look at Merriam Webster Dictionairy’s definition (point 3) that even trying is perfection. For those of you that must have perfection in your life, there you have it.
You are, and already have been, and will continue to be perfect.
The simple intention of trying to improve, do better, live better is already perfect.
***What I’m currently reading: The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

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