The Pressure of Striving to be Perfect when Standards are Contradictory – Part 2

The Pressure of Striving to be Perfect when Standards are Contradictory - Part 2

This is the second part of a series of posts. See Part One here.

When one is in authentic self, one claims one’s life – becomes the author of one’s own way of being – claiming one’s strengths and weaknesses, one’s own needs and vulnerabilities, one’s own understanding of what is good and wholesome for yourself.

From this position of self, the next step is to give yourself permission to be wisely discerning. From here you don’t have to be extreme anything, total anything, perfect anything, fanatical anything. From here you can think, consider and act with forethought.

To help you; you may ask questions like – ‘For who’s sake am I doing this?’ or ‘What would a wise woman do?’ or ‘What is my higher best Self asking of me here?’

There is, of course, a cost to personal authenticity – you need to use your mind actively and consciously. You can no longer sleep-walk through life – doing what ‘they’ say. Now you have to have your eyes wide open – hand-picking people, thoughts, ideas, and actions.

You may also find that you develop your own uniqueness and that the many conventional minds out there may be confused by it and misinterpret it. It also means that you will never be a fixed identity but always dynamically developing and growing towards your core self – authenticity is not an event; it is a practice, a process of self-discovery, continuously updating itself.

It requires patience with self and others, a capacity to forgive yourself for your less than perfect life and a celebration of our less than perfect common humanity. As Elizabeth Kubler Ross puts it: you are not ok and I am not ok and that’s perfectly ok!

Always remember that perfection is attached to fear – the fear of not being good enough and the fear of criticism. Perfection makes cowards of all of us. Striving for perfection can also be a paralysing ideal leaving us unable to move until we have the perfect plan, the perfect vision and the perfect circumstances.

So move ahead with your life, in courage and in your own clarity. Even if it is not totally perfect right now, it is good work in progress. As the Arab saying goes: The dogs may bark but the caravan is moving on.

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