“You can’t learn anything from being perfect,” Via Millionaire Mentor. When you think you’ve perfected the world around you, life stagnates. We stop looking for the opportunities in the situation because we feel we know the way it will go. We stop looking for alternative directions because we head down the same path. We stop looking at what else may be coming our way because we think we have it all. Now, I’m not saying to stop discerning everything that come at you—there is too much coming too fast in this day and age to allow it all to come into your space—but I am saying don’t close off possibilities in your life to spite yourself.
I’m a recovering perfectionist. I used to think my obsessive planning eased the stress of anything we were doing because I was prepared for any and every eventuality that may come our way. I also made sure to tell people how they could do the same thing. I went through a big, “I told you so,” phase. If people didn’t want to listen, that was on them. I can see now ego controlled much of that behavior, but I also had a major issue with people not hearing me before we did something and then expecting me to clean up the mess when things went haywire after I told them which way to go. Of course I got defensive: you had the audacity to insult or patronize me for what I told you could happen and then come to me with your tail between your legs demanding I do more work to clean up your mistake.
I wielded my perfectionism like a weapon because I tried to avoid situations where I would be cleaning up after someone’s mistake. It stressed me out so much I despised hanging out with people. I drew these things toward me like a magnet and I didn’t want the responsibility of fixing things anymore. So I stood in my lane and I did what I had to, to keep my sanity. I took a long look at myself and realized that I physically look like someone easy to take advantage of—and there is nothing I can do about that. I realized that my insecurity sought out situations where I would be accepted and people loved having someone to take on their crap. So I took on the responsibility to be accepted. It took a long time to realize it wasn’t necessarily that I had to be responsible for cleaning up after people, I needed to learn to be more discerning in the company I kept. THAT changed everything.
As soon as I cleared up the crowd around me, the need to control slowly began to dissipate. I’m a pretty open person and I don’t like seeing people struggle so I still draw other’s problems to me, but now I know how to guide them to clean up their own mess. More importantly, I know how to focus on my own crap rather than trying to change the world around me. All those years of dysfunctional relationships and me trying to be the perfect example was time spent running circles when I could have been elevating. The world doesn’t care if you’re perfect, it cares about your movement. When you’re trying to create a life for yourself, you need to ask what actions will take you forward and what will keep you in place. People with like-minded focus, keeping your mind open to options, a willingness to learn will get you where you want to go faster than pretending you have it all figured out.
Brene Brown calls perfection a 20 ton shield. We may look like we have it all together on the outside, but inside we are terrified, carrying the weight of this disguise and drowning under it. We think we are protecting ourselves when we are holding the weight that will take us under. It gives us the excuse to stay where we are, the excuse to not start because we aren’t ready, and the excuse to hide something that could be really great for the world. So put it down. Put down your expectations of yourself and others and look at what is. Then make the move. You’ll see how easily you move without that shield and you will see a whole new world of possibilities open. As I said above, the universe doesn’t care if you’re doing it perfectly, it cares about the moves that take you forward. It cares about the openness to what IS and how that shifts the possibilities to what will be.