Why perfect is not always better


Miss Perfect – but look where it got her.

I place blame for the human obsession with perfection on Martha Stewart.  I bet she’s got dirty little secrets tucked away everywhere. I bet she hasn’t even washed her make up brushes this month.

Recently I’ve been learning to let go of my need for perfection.  I may as well, since I’ve reached the conclusion I’ll never achieve it in this life.  Well, unless you count the perfection of my imperfection. I’ve got that down pretty good.

I’ve decided that maybe ’good enough’ really is sometimes good enough and that maybe I’ll get more done aiming for ‘good enough’ than being paralyzed by the fear that I’ll never get it perfect.

When you’re trying to motivate yourself, appreciate the fact that you’re even thinking about making a change or cleaning the oven or (you fill in the blank).  Perfectionism can undo what you’re trying to achieve and stop you in your tracks.

“Look at the angst people have when they cut a workout a little short,” says Alice Domar, author of “Be Happy Without Being Perfect.” “Do they really think a few minutes less, one day, is going to make that much of a difference? Worst still is the “what the hell effect” when you eat one bad thing, then just give up.”

I’ve got that response down to an art.  How many times I’ve taken one small piece of fudge, then finished off the plate, knowing full well it will be next Monday before I correct my course.

Life is about experimenting, experiencing, and learning.  Mine would be much more interesting if I let go of the quest for perfection.  Can I run a race if I suspect I will come in last?  Should I plant a new flower bed if I know weeds will eventually enter uninvited? Dare I attempt to bake a cake when I fear it may turn out lopsided?

We can simply choose to experience the universe as a loving place where we are free to be imperfect. Once we realize this, we can begin to take ourselves less seriously and have more fun. Imperfection is inherent to being human. By embracing our imperfections, we embrace ourselves.

3 thoughts on “Why perfect is not always better

  1. Really enjoyed your thoughtful notes today. My, my, how long it has taken us to get to this period in our lives when we finally recognize that good enough is good enough which leaves time for other things in our lives.

  2. Emily,

    This is so true and is one of the reasons I am enjoying this stage of my life so much. I look forward to your articles everyday. You always give us something to think about.

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