What does it mean to be imperfect in a world that idolises and seeks perfection?
It has taken me decades to realise that perfection is not attainable or even worth attaining. That good enough is far more sustainable. That perfection in essence does not really exist. That it is a fictitious state that we create as individuals. It is a subjective perception that we aspire to achieve and is almost impossible to measure objectively.
It was Winston Churchill who said that “perfection is the enemy of progress.” Perfection is an inhibitor of creativity. Voltaire said “le mieux est l’ennemi du bien” – translated as meaning "the perfect is the enemy of the good".
In striving for perfection you restrict your work, you restrict your thinking, your doing, your being, even your feeling. Those who seek perfection suffer from high levels of anxiety, lack confidence, are never content with their work and equate any imperfections with a lack of self-worth.
We all make mistakes. That’s ok. That’s what makes us human. It is not the seeking of perfection that is the issue so much as not valuing our imperfection and how it can serve and teach us more.
Like Trish McGirr, episode 288 The Person Behind the Story, Richard Stone, episode 289 Courageously Imperfect, spoke of what is behind the façade of what’s really going on for people. That it is ok to share the struggles. It is ok to share the imperfections. As in doing so, we show a vulnerability. A human vulnerability that opens us up to connection. To enable others to help when help is needed.
Richard asked the question, “on a scale of 1-10, how are you feeling?” This question works wonders. I’ve used it and it has led to incredible and powerful conversations. Try it as you open up the opportunity for others to be courageously imperfect with you and allow them to reveal what is really going on.
So what happens when you combine courage with imperfection? You have the permission you need to be fully human, to be fully who you are. To be you. No façades, no imposter syndrome, no armour, just you.
Enjoy imperfection. It won’t stop you from achieving your desires. In fact it will likely take you closer to them. Embrace being courageously imperfect.
Focus on Imperfection!