A lot of people think that, “If I am perfect, more people will like me.” or “I gotta be perfect to be deserving.”
Constantly trying to live up to others’ expectations is what typical parenting styles and the rat race culture have caused many people to behave in that manner.
Do you remember the days where you have to look nerdy and not move more than an inch to be considered well-behaved so that you can get that toy you wanted or get to eat the ice-cream on cone? When being 2nd in class is not good enough? Where you were told not to play with the “bad” kids? How about being eligible for that little reward only when you score 100%?
The Kind Of Childhood For Some
At first, we could differentiate the relationship between exams and toys but as time goes by we can’t help but think that they have to come together other than special occasions like birthday or Christmas. This criteria of getting a new toy repeats at least 8 years in our lives as a child, and our thinking has thus followed the trend and brought forward to the following generations. Then when we grow up, whenever we fail to achieve something we would think that it is because we are not good enough, not perfect. That includes not getting a life partner, not going into the top universities or even not being my parent’s favourite child.
There is nothing wrong for our seniors to set expectations and KPI for us, but we need to know how to come in-between and live to it the correct way so not to be self-destructing.
Many people keep trying to develop that perfect personality, only to realise it never pleased anyone. Not the parent nor the spouse, for a domestic example… and in the midst of pleasing everyone, they lost themselves. They lost touch of their inner selves, their identities and their values in life. What’s worse is that it becomes a part of our system and we inherited it to the next generation.
Stop living a life blindly trying to match others’ expectations all the time. Your needs matter too, you have to put a focus on it as well. Sometimes you have to do what’s best for you and your life, not what’s best for everyone else.
Here are some pointers that can help you live YOUR mark :
#1 Now, tell yourself that from this moment onwards you will set YOUR own standards and that you will set it in a loving and encouraging way where you will not undermine nor create unnecessary stress for yourself.
#2 Give a definition to YOUR PERFECTION with these 2 attributes – (1) Specific requirement (2) In which specific area
e.g. scoring 90% for a Math test is perfect to me.
meeting 2 prospects a day it is perfect to me
#3 Be YOUR best, without having a need to compare or compete. Everyone worth your while will respect you if you can respect yourself.
- Be strong but not rude.
- Be humble and keep the confidence.
- Be proud but not arrogant.
- Be bold yet stay loving.
#4 Give yourself an assessment and know where you are at currently.
It could be a relationship with someone or a performance at work/school. Find the gap between where you are now and your desired (Perfect) outcome then analyse what could be done to get to YOUR perfection. Ask yourself specific questions so you can effectively get to YOUR perfection. The few questions you can ask yourself are :
- is it the environment that is causing the gap?
- did any of my behaviour contributed to this?
- was there a misbelief that affected my performance?
- do I need to develop new skills or improve on a current skill set?
- how am I related to this task? Who am I in this task?
Once you are able to bridge the gap using effective questions and achieve YOUR perfection, protect it. Protect your perfect state and own it; use the same method and continue to strive for another level of YOUR perfection if necessary.
Accept the imperfections. The acknowledgment and acceptance that being “imperfect” is not a sign of weakness but something that adds to the strength and character of our humanity. When there is a “flaw” we try to cover it with all kinds of denial, making the lives of ourselves miserable and resentful. Once we are able to accept and embrace imperfections, our perspectives in striving and the motivation behind striving will be more positive.