UNITED STATES—Have you ever heard the phrase, “It has to be perfect?” Of course you have, I think we all have. The idea of perfection is something that we must all aim for, but are we creating an expectation that is impossible to achieve?
Its something that many of us hear from our parents, our teachers, our bosses, our family, our friends, the list goes on and on, but why? I think people seriously believe that the idea of ‘perfection’ is attainable, even if they fail to attain it themselves. I see this as a problem in America, because it creates a level of pressure that is all too destructive to young minds.
That idea of pleasing those parents who are never content with what you do, the notion that you have to be the best of the best at something, its destroying our psyche and we have yet to realize that. The level of perfection can be extremely hard on tweens and teens who sometimes resort to bad behavior as a way of garnering attention. In some terrible cases the issue of suicide comes front and center.
I almost feel ‘perfection’ is something that is created to categorize people; to place some on pedestals and others below that pedestal. Meryl Streep said it best a few years back when she accepted the Screen Actors Guild award for her performance in “Doubt,” noting there is no such thing as ‘the best actress.’
Guess what she’s true, because when you examine it, it’s a game of popularity. Those voting for whom they ‘like’ the most, so in essence there could be more than one best actress (I mean the Academy Awards rarely see ties, but it has happened before).
I feel time and time again my boss wants this level of perfection that annoys me greatly, why? I get flustered, it affects my work, my psyche goes a bit crazy, and I begin to lose composure. I had no idea how the testament for perfection can fluster someone who is aiming to do their best each day and never feel their contributions are enough. If its not good enough complain, if its not good enough complain, if its not good enough complain, that’s what some of us hear time and time again. Enough already!
Perfection can’t be attained, but you can get pretty damn close, but don’t echo this idea that it can happen. This is not to send a message for people to sell themselves short, it’s to not physically or mentally beat yourself up if you don’t achieve a certain hierarchy that so many others want everyone else to reach. Please don’ take this rant the wrong way, I want people to aim for the stars, don’t deliver mediocre work.
Most important of all, if you know you have given your best there is not much more you can do beyond that. Internally only you can determine rather your best is your best, there is one thing to have someone motivate you, its another to allow that person to destroy you.