London, UK

The Problem with Perfect

‘Perfect is a sweet little lie’

Life was perfect. The end. No one wants to read that story, right? Yet when it comes to our own precious lives, many of us are guilty of trying to write it. Breaking up with perfect is essential to living a fulfilling creative life. A lesson I learn over and over again. Perfectionism keeps dreams locked in hearts and people hiding in shadows. Though do we even know what we are chasing? 

What even is perfect?

According to the good old Oxford dictionary perfect is “having everything that is necessary, complete and without faults and weaknesses” Hmm, the complete opposite to being human then? We see the P-word pop up all over the place. Buy this skin product for perfect skin, do this work out for the perfect body, try this for the perfect smile. All of that noise goes somewhere inside of you and stops you from loving yourself, just as you are. You chase it, endlessly. The pursuit of perfect once begun is hard to quit. Perfect people don’t quit. Perfect people don’t look their age. Perfect people don’t doubt themselves, get mad or feel lonely. They don’t have a chipped tooth and one boob bigger than the other. So, what do we do? We re-style our wonky parts. The intimate pieces of ourselves that make us beautiful to become this perfect person… we barely know.

Perfect problems

Perfect is a sweet little lie. Though you know what they say about lies? Tell them often enough and they become the truth. One lie that we tell ourselves is being perfect will make us happy. Perfectionism steals the joy of today. The imperfect words we are writing, the imperfect bodies that keep us moving, the blissful moments that punctuate our busy days. We will enjoy them when things are perfect, though from one perfectionist to another perfect is an illusion. Believing it is possible to be perfect will have you chasing something that will be forever out of your reach. It’s exhausting, suffocating and to be honest undesirable. Perfect is boring. So- if you are done and ready to give it up let me share a few things that can help. 

Breaking up with perfect

Be inspired by nature- As Autumn strips the trees and we sleep under a new moon, what do you see? Nature is in constant flux, much like us. Unique, flawed and accepting. Perfection requires everything to be the same, imagine a world with only one flower? Whenever that pesky inner perfectionist rears its head, take yourself around the park. Walk, look around you, be present. Nature never strives for perfection, that’s what makes it beautiful.

Be inspired by the people you love- We rarely fill our lives with perfect people. We love our friends, family and other halves as they are just as bonkers and imperfect as we are. The books we read, the movies we watch. What is it about the characters that keep us rooting for them? One word you won’t see on your list is perfect. Even Mr Darcy had his flaws!

Be inspired by life– Happiness can be found in the messy, choppy waters of real life. Embrace it, be there for it. The pouring rain on your way home. That passing smile of a stranger. The reflection in the mirror of someone imperfectly human and unpredictable. When you break up with perfection, you find the freedom to love yourself. 

Just the way you are. 

Screw perfect. You were born to be so much more than that!