Perfectionism with a Twist


For me the “perfect” version of myself isn’t the one envisioned solely by me. It is created in my mind based off of the expectations I perceive the people around me in a certain situation have of my behavior. Whew, even just typing that was exhausting. Basically at all times I am hyper aware of how the individuals in whichever setting I am in believe I should be performing. Then I hold myself to these imagined standards. Trying to measure up to expectations that may or may not exist is impossible. To my dismay I don’t currently have the time to focus on where this pattern of thinking stems from; whether it’s a protection method derived from childhood or it’s me confusing my clairsetience feelings of others around me as my own- those are my two main theories I hope to circle back around soon and explore soon. Fortunately, as long as I am aware that this is an obstacle that requires additional attention I can recognize and take the initiative to break my typical self-destructive response mechanism. There is hope.

Embracing my anonymity of my new city I took a walk around a main nightlife area on Friday night. My reflections of this experience serendipitously helped my see clearly just how silly my system of thinking is. Below are my thoughts:

There is something so welcoming about being alone in a crowded place. I get the perks of human connections without having to expend any of my energy participating in them. I remain an innocent bystander simply observing life as it unfolds all around me. Being that it’s just me there are no attachments tethering me to one place in particular. I quite enjoy the view from my bubble as I float around freely from one place to the next, careful to never stay too long. The transparency of my boundaries works both ways and I have a naturally heightened sense of awareness to when my presence is occupying the attention of others. But I can exhale as I realize everyone is too wrapped up in their own stories to notice. Their energy is being spent on trying to manifest their own desires and fighting their own fears, there is none left over to waste on an innocent bystander. I think my sense of enjoyment in these scenarios comes from the inevitable realization that my own narrative will only be the most important one to myself. To everyone else I am simply an extra in their script just as they are in mine. That fact takes a lot of pressure off making the decision to live my life how I want to.

I would be sacrificing my own unique identity and talents by acting out roles not written for me. Certainly I am not willing to risk that becoming my reality. I must remind myself that I am the creator of my script and it’s okay if it gets a little messy and I have to cross things out occasionally.

Besides, I can think of so many more adjectives I aspire to be described as that would come before “perfect”.



And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.
— John Steinbeck
MindfulnessAllisa Babor