Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Perfectionist – Humility = Alone

Yea you know the type. “Hey I’m a perfectionist”. Before I continue, I apologize to anyone who has said this to me. I didn’t know I was going to write a post on this and chances are you probably don’t fall into the “OCD perfectionist” category, but too many people do.

And whenever I hear that, I sometimes hear following:
  • “Hey, I’m difficult and unbearable”
  • “Hey, I like to adhere to fictitious standards that don’t exist” (only in my head). And I’m not talking about the “I want to be great at ___________”, I’m talking about “Hey I want to be great at ____________ which means lifting up the Empire State Building. Guess what? It’s not going to happen
  • “Hey, look at me”
  • “Hey, watch me hurt everyone’s feelings but use the “perfectionist” line as a cover to mask my detachment from the world

Now keep in mind that I didn’t say being a perfectionist is a problem, it’s being an imposing perfectionist that’s the issue. Without humility your “perfect world” can become a “narcissistic or arrogant” world. Maybe not to you, but how you are perceived by others.

Too many times I’ve watched the “perfectionist” live on an island of solitude while believing that their behavior is welcoming and refreshing. At times, being around a “hyper-perfectionist” can be an annoying and crass experience. Once again, I’m not talking about mastering something. In order for us to be masters at what we do, we have work hard and rethink our approaches. Being a critical thinker on your day-to-day challenges in life is expected.

Being a perfectionist is not all negative. There are actually some positive aspects to being a perfectionist.

Over they years I’ve also noticed that people want to be perfectionist or want “perfect” things in particular areas of their life. One of the most abused areas for “wanting something perfect” is relationships. Here are some of the reasons (and these reasons will lead you to nowhere):
  • I work hard and play hard
  • I’m handsome/beautiful and intelligent
  • I have certain standards (they usually forget to ad “unrealistic” before the word standards
  • Why should I settle? (uh…because human beings are imperfect creatures and it’s ridiculous to think that you are going to find someone that matches every part of your warped world view)
In this age of narcissism, we have watched some of our most well respected figures in society fall from from grace. We pounce at the opportunity to drag their character and life down into the gutter. As a society we have not only put people on these unrealistic “pedestals of perfection”, but we have also put our expectations on “pedestals of perfection”. We have created a world where there is no wiggle room for natural improvement and correction.

We hear and say the phrase “nobodies perfect”, but I wonder if we actually believe it.

By Malik Abdul Rasheed

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