How many of us validate ourselves by wanting perfection? We look for perfection, convincing ourselves that other areas of our lives will be right when we have it, when in reality we should be seeking to do the opposite.
The idea of a world in which everyone and everything is perfect is nonsensical. I have seen people continue to change things because they want things better than the way they have it. Perhaps we must consciously appreciate what we have.
As a child, I wanted to be normal, like everyone else who didn’t have a physical issue. I wanted to walk properly without a limp, I wanted to walk heel-toe. I was constantly checking the heels on my shoes, to see how they were wearing down, and would get annoyed because they looked and wore differently.
When I crayoned outside the lines, I would throw the colouring sheet I was using in the bin and start again. The outlines on my handwriting weren’t formed properly, they were inconsistent and too small, but luckily that need for perfection didn’t spill over into anything else.
My being a perfectionist seemed to be centred around my anger, not so much around me. For example, I used to love colouring in and if I coloured out of the lines, I’d get cross and want to start again. I believe it has something to do with OCD, which can co-exist through a diagnosis like cerebral palsy, but for those who are chasing perfection all the time it can be exhausting.
It is an impossible quest, one that will end with disappointment every time, because no one can expect to be the best all the time. The bar will always be raised. Perfection isn’t something that will always be within our grasp.
But having to chase perfection can also be a stressful burden. Having to keep up standards is stressful enough, but if you must, being the best at something is better than being the best at everything. Being the best at everything means you’ll never settle for second and you’ll be too stressed to enjoy it.