Nobody likes “perfect”: the mask of perfection

I don’t know about you, but I can assure you that I have never loved anyone who was perfect.  I am not telling you this to put anyone down.  I am saying it, both to you and myself, so that I remember to stop expecting myself to be perfect. So that I stop worrying that I am not good enough.  Not competent enough, not thin enough, not pretty enough.  Not nice enough.

I also remember instances of being in a relationship or interacting with people who either thought they were perfect or tried very hard to appear so, through their house, makeup, car, clothes, etc. that screamed “perfect” and the impossibility to actually connect deeply with them because the mask of perfection stood in the way.  Human interaction without connection, especially in romantic relationships is not only not soul nourishing, it’s actually toxic and can make us emotionally and physically sick.  In other interactions, it’s just not worth it.

Real human beings make mistakes, we have misbehaving hair, children, temper, messy houses, we cry, we talk too loud, we have love handles, wrinkles, we overcook the meal, we make choices we regret. Whatever.

Trying to be perfect is the result of not believing we are good enough. So we strive to be superhuman, aka Perfect.  Believing we are not good enough we assume that if others do not respond to our friendship, love, giving, it’s because there is something fundamentally wrong with us. So we try harder, we don’t ask for what we want,  not realizing that the right people will love us just as we are and those who don’t, do not belong with us.

When you start working on dropping the Mask of Perfection,  it’s often a challenge to understand what “do your best” means, because to someone who thinks she has to be perfect, this means no room for being human. It means try until you drop.  The best advice I can give is what would you expect of someone you really love, an adult child for example or your best friend, in the same situation.  Would you give him or her some slack?  What would you consider to be “you did your best”?  Then apply this to your situation.  Give yourself some slack.  Don’t wait until you have it down perfect or you are certain of the outcome.  Risk making mistakes.  It’s O.K.  Few mistakes are life threatening.  You will survive and surprise,  you may even thrive.  Trust me, the more mistakes I make and survive, the more confidently I can take risks and know that whatever happens will not kill me.

If you are ready to drop the Perfection Trap and want more support to stop struggling, call me during regular weekday business hours, at 613-744-1538, for a discovery session (free) to help you decide if you are ready to invest in a coaching relationship to change your life.

Have a good day






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