Take Just Seven Minutes to Unlock the Secret to Your Success. ...or, if you prefer to
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Your self-image determines your potential for success in every area of life, from your career to your love life. If you see yourself as inadequate, it frames the level of achievement you will allow yourself to have. Yet, for some reason, we set ourselves up for failure from the very start
Nobody’s perfect - isn't that what we say?
We see ourselves as flawed in nearly every way, always striving to reach some vague state of betterment that would finally make us worthy of esteem and consideration. And ultimately, something that might finally make us worthy of love and happiness.
Perfectionism is the tendency to set high, often unrealistic standards for ourselves and to strive for flawlessness in every aspect of life. Ironically, this very tendency is the thing that gets in the way of us living our best life. Striving for excellence might be positive and motivating, but the resulting perfectionism is detrimental and produces the exact opposite effect. It leads to procrastination because we are afraid of making mistakes or not living up to our own impossibly high standards. It’s precisely because we see ourselves as so inadequate that we may not even allow ourselves to try.
Perfectionism stifles creativity and limits opportunities for growth and innovation. Taking risks and trying new things is the very hallmark of creativity - but you can't do that when you're afraid of making mistakes. So much potential has been lost to perfectionism! It is the cause of so much anxiety and stress. We turn ourselves into wrecks from stress-related illnesses because of our own unrealistic standards for ourselves. The constant worry about not meeting our own and the perceived expectations of others takes a heavy toll on body and mind. It leads to burnout and mental health problems.
Finally, perfectionism ruins relationships. People who are perfectionists tend to be self-critical and harsh on themselves when they make mistakes or fall short of their own expectations. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem, which will, in turn, damage relationships or prevent them from ever forming. Perfectionists tend to hold others to the same high standards they set for themselves, which can lead to unrealistic expectations and strained relationships. In this way, perfectionism is a direct contributor to loneliness. I can’t tell you how often a client has said to me, “I’m not ready for a relationship. Who would want me this way?”
I live part-time in Los Angeles, and it's a very crowded place. When I see all these many people, I am struck by one beautiful thing: not one of them is like any other. As funny-looking as some may appear, each is completely different from anybody else. We never give it much thought, but isn’t it pretty amazing that out of eight billion people, there is not one who is exactly like someone else?
Each of us is an exclusive package made up of strengths and weaknesses. I think it is here that our thinking goes off the rails. We see our weaknesses as flaws, something needing improvement, when in reality, these are merely areas that are not important to our particular purpose. Not everyone has to be good with numbers. Not everyone needs to do everything well. Not everyone needs to write well; not everyone can make great art. Everybody has something that makes them uniquely suited to who they are. The key is to figure out what it is that makes you happiest because that’s likely your highest form of expression, where all your strengths come to bear. When we compare ourselves to others, we’re necessarily comparing apples to oranges. In reality, however, we are quite beyond compare. Against whom would we measure our particular package and why? Each of us is distinctive, inimitable, and matchless. Unique things don’t match up with other unique things – that’s what makes them unique.
So here's my brand-new proposal...
Instead, I am proposing this: What if, instead of seeing ourselves as flawed, imperfect, and in need of repair, we recognize ourselves as absolutely perfect exactly the way we are? What if you looked in the mirror and, instead of criticizing what you saw, you realized it was perfect? It is YOUR standard of perfection, YOUR flawless. Whether you like it or not - those are the cards you're dealt, and you have no choice but to play them. Why tear yourself down? Why put yourself at a disadvantage? What if we celebrated our strengths and uniqueness instead of working against ourselves by focusing on perceived weaknesses? What if we accepted and embraced our unique qualities and our intrinsic perfection - yes, I say PERFECTION!
It can only lead to self-confidence, self-esteem, and overall well-being. Most of all, it expands the framework of our potential, which in turn allows us to reach for higher and more fulfilling lives. Ultimately, it is necessary to appreciate yourself in this way in order to find the love of your life. You simply cannot experience life beyond the framework of your beliefs. As long as you view yourself as flawed, this view becomes your status quo, and you will not allow yourself to experience the fulfillment you secretly crave. It will remain a barrier to a successful life, as well as successful relationships.
The List Method requires you to take an appreciative, personal inventory of your needs and desires, your values, standards, and what your ideal life would look like before you can come up with a List of your perfect mate. You will not allow yourself to experience your best possible outcome as long as you see yourself as flawed and undeserving. You simply won’t be able to reach for it. So, ditch the perfectionism and remind yourself that you’re absolutely beyond compare, then celebrate all the many things you do so very well!