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Perfectionism As The Goal?
In our achievement-driven culture, setting goals is a massive metric by which we measure ourselves, our progress, and our status. It shows us how far we have come and what we fell short on. Having goals, in and of themselves, is not a bad thing. But how we interact with those goals is something we have noticed not many people are very aware of and because of that can lead them to be more harmful than helpful.
Have you ever tried a new diet or cut out a specific food group or put a pause on drinking alcohol? Our guess is yes. Did you, within one month, surrender your goal? Did you cheat a little bit? Give in to the craving? Our guess is also a yes. Did you feel bad for not doing what you set out to do and maybe binged the foods you were abstaining from? Again, our guess would be yes.
This is normal.
You are not bad or wrong or alone if that is pretty spot on to the behavior that comes when setting goals and trying to achieve something challenging.
So what does that mean? Does it mean that what you set out to do is impossible and that you shouldn't have ever tried? NO WAY!!!!
This means we must reframe what it means to set goals, accomplish them, and live in a high-achieving society.
Let's start with the end. Yes, the end.
Whether we know it or not or even want to, most of us measure ourselves against perfection. What perfection is and what it looks like varies from person to person, but the goal of perfection is what most of us are moving towards.
Let's quickly define what perfection is -
"In basic terms, perfectionism is the desire to be a perfect or flawless person in various aspects of one's internal or external life. Perfectionism involves exceedingly high standards that one sets out to achieve and a belief that being "perfect" should be strived for. It is thought to be an aspect of one's personality."
We get this idea in our heads of who we should be or what we should do, and how we should look, and it takes shape in a way where we are constantly disappointed in ourselves because it seems that our efforts are continually falling short.
Perfectionism, as the desired end result, is the beginning of our problems. It doesn't leave room for life. For ups and downs, bad days, weariness, heartache, circumstances beyond our control, and just the winding road that is being human in the world.
Let's take one more step back.
Why in the world do we want perfection? Whose life do you actually truly respect who has the "perfect" life? You know, the person who everything has always gone as planned, who gets the promotion, gets into their dream school, gets married and has three kids, and of course, has a rockin bod. Not bad. But probably a bit boring. These people likely lack depth. If everything has always gone the ways they wished they would and have all of which they want, where is the grit that comes from a bit of struggle? Or the adaptability that comes from constant change? Or the perseverance that comes from having to try over and over and over again?
For us, the constant adjusting, changing, learning, and ultimately growth that comes from things that go wrong give us the meaning we are looking for rather than the perfection we may have been trained to desire.
Every single day we have the chance to try again. We get to wake up and give effort to the things we want in life. That effort will and should look different for each one of us, but effort leads to progress, and progress is a result.
We can change the narrative to believing that we can get better every single day rather than we need to get it perfect everyday. We can make progress every day. We can try every day. Our confidence can come from that fact that we can give it go each day, not a confidence that comes only when it comes out perfectly.
Choose to be ICONIC everyday.