I have met a lot of people over the past several years. As I travel and speak with my best friend, I’ve encountered individuals from all walks of life. With varied histories, I talk with men and women dealing with a variety of struggles. Some are recovering from trauma and abuse, others are facing the loss of a spouse or child, and others still are plagued with addictions and doubt.
But one specific struggle seems to be more prevalent than all the others—perfection. There are hosts of men, women, and children that have swallowed the lie that they must be perfect to be lovable. The source of this flawed thinking is different for each person. Some are wired this way, others have been held to an impossible standard for so long they know nothing else, but regardless of how someone arrives at this, the damage is the same. Perfection is the enemy of happiness, joy, and peace.
The constant pursuit of perfection destroys any opportunity for contentment because when we think we have to be perfect, we can never be good enough. Worse yet, when we think we are perfect, our arrogance and entitlement taint every relationship we have because we elevate ourselves above those who don’t meet our standard. And sometimes, when we see ourselves as perfect, our drive to invest in the lives of other fades because we convince ourselves there is nothing more we need to do because we have arrived.
I am a firm believer that we never arrive. Perfection is always out of reach, completely unattainable. And I am grateful it is impossible—because grabbing on to the idea that we never arrive means we can always do more, we can always be more, we can always love more, we can always give more.
When we shift our focus from being perfect to simply being more than we were yesterday, we get to enjoy the growth we experience, we find pleasure in the learning, and we see the beauty in others as they do the same.
The danger of perfection is pervasive because it can bleed into every area of your life and every relationship you hold dear. Perfection is deceitful because it convinces you that you have to be something that is always out of reach. Perfection will steal your joy, your peace, and your happiness.
But when we live with the perspective that today we can do a little more than yesterday, we find peace, joy, and happiness in the progress, in the learning, in the growth.
We can always do more, we can always be more, we can always love more, we can always give more. Let’s start by doing more than we did yesterday and walk the journey one day at a time.