What comes to your mind when you hear the word, ‘perfection?’ One might think of excellent academic results, a mind-blowing painting on canvas, or an all-rounder person in general.
All these are our own made-up definitions — definitions we’ve been taught by those who define the norms of society.
From our very childhood, we have been taught to always do better, never settle for what we have and that we can always make more effort. Somehow, in our desire do the very best, we lose ourselves. Living our life beautifully and spending this life running after perfection are clearly two different things. Sadly, sometime we are not able to differentiate between the two. We always think it is okay to aim for and expect the best. But when our expectations break, we break down too.
Let’s take our studies as an example. Our parents have great expectations from us because we always manage to get top marks in class. But, one day we obtain marks that are lower than our expectations, it disappoints our parents. We are disappointed by ourselves too for not being able to achieve the best.
But nothing is consistent in life. Sometimes unexpected things happen. None of it is in our control and we must accept that.
There is nothing wrong with growing with time and making ourselves better than what we were yesterday. It is completely fine as long as the person we are doing it for is no one else but us. It is healthy to improve ourselves.
There are times when we change ourselves and our lives for other people, to make them happy and meet their expectations. Looking at ourselves through the eyes of others is not fair to our own selves. This way we start to see flaws of the kind that don’t even exist!
With an obsession for perfection, we become people pleasers as we desperately try to mould ourselves into a shape that is desired by the world, thus making us lose our originality.
Such people don’t really live but barely survive in this unwanted man-made race. And this may leads to self-hate.
The most common behaviour that indicates an obsession with perfection includes hating the way one’s hair is, despising one’s skin colour for being too bright or too dark, hating acne, dressing up so one can look as “pretty” as everyone else, doing makeup that doesn’t enhance one’s natural beauty but hides it, frowning in the mirror that shows a bare face that doesn’t look as beautiful as XYZ’s face, being too fat or too thin, hating crooked teeth and smiling less because it appears ugly to you, etc.
Give up trying to live for others and live for yourself. You’re the best and the most beautiful version of yourself and there’s no one else like you. Embrace your individuality in a world full of copycats. Your skin colour, acne, moles, hair, face, weight, height — every single part of yours is perfect the way it is. Do not change yourself so you could “be” like the rest. You do not have to be like the rest.
Your original self is beautiful, so embrace it. Embrace every flaw of yours too, and be proud of it. It’s a part of you and it is nothing to be ashamed of.
Centuries have passed and humans are defying their true selves in their quest for perfection and everyone who thinks otherwise is turning a blind eye to them. Not many have the courage to save people from their own demons. But I’m using this platform for the less-talked-about issues in our messed-up world to make a positive change. I hope my words would have an effect on those who are struggling with an obsession for perfection.
Remember, you must love yourself enough not to let others treat you in a harsh manner.
Lastly, eat as much as you want, laugh as much as you want, talk as much as you want, be goofy with your favourite people as much as you want, explore the world as much as you want, read as many books as you want to, watch as many movies as you want to, collect as much knowledge as you want to, dress whichever way you like, smile as much as you want to — as long as you are being your true self, it’s totally okay.
Accept yourself the way you are and that is perfection.
Published in Dawn, Young World, October 12th, 2019