When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. – Lao Tzu
Friend – You know, I want everything perfect. I want to be successful in everything I attempt.
Me – That is great. I normally do not think about success or failure. I will attempt something because I like to. What happens when you fail?
Friend – I normally do not. I will do 100% research of whether I will be successful or not and then only I go ahead.
Me – So, you mean to say that you do not try where there are even 1% chances of failure.
Friend – Nope. I always want to be perfect.
Me – Don’t you think that you are missing on many things, just because you do not want to fail.
Friend – I know, but I am afraid of failure.
This was the conversation I recently had with one of my good friends. I was not surprised to hear that my friend does not attempt because of the fear of failure or reflecting imperfection. I have been into such conversations before as well. The fear of being imperfect has paralyzed us. We can only do activities we think we are good at. World has so many opportunities to explore, to discover, to embrace and we just hold back to our image of perfection. Let us try to first find out what is this image of perfection is and why are we so possessive about it.
Being perfect means that you are always successful in everything you do. It also means that you have created some standards of perfection and you fulfill everything of it. In your mind, you have created one image and you always think that world is a mirror which reflects the same image. You spend lots of time and effort in maintaining that image and you are always afraid to lose that identity. I believe that perfection is nothing, but an illusion. God is the only perfect being and we cannot be God. We are human being and we are supposed to make mistakes. We are supposed to learn from our failure and that is how we grow.
Imagine that you are on a road journey and you are walking towards your destination along with your friend. Now you can see the clear path till next one kilo meter and you are sure that you can walk till that. Once you cross one kilo meter, there is no light and nothing is visible. You know that if you cross this dark path, you will reach to your another destination. But, just because you cannot see the path, you do not attempt to walk. You are afraid that your image of always reaching to the destination is at danger. So, you decide to stay there only and celebrate it. However, your friend does not have any image of perfection. He is on the journey to enjoy each and every moment of it. He does not have any fear of failure because all he want is to grow. He starts walking towards the darkness and he fall many times, but he stands up every time and cross it. You feel content with the thoughts that at least you did not fall many times.
We lose a lot when we hold our self in the cage of perfection.
Opportunities – Universe provide us many opportunities to grow. It can be in the form of new job, or new adventure or perhaps new relationship. Our part is to grab this and enjoy it. If we start measuring the opportunities based on our rate of success, then we can hardly grab any. It might be also true that universe will not be keen to offer you more as you reject many.
Learning – Failures or setbacks are supposed to be your friends who teach you good lessons of life. Instead of fearing them we should embrace. All those perfect (as per the definition) personalities you see in the world has learned from their mistakes and failures. We are missing on so much of learning life has to offer when we limit our self.
New you – I am very much impressed with the quote of Lao Tzu I mentioned in the start of article. It says that when I let go of my current image, I become the person I can be. We can become a different person only if we let go of our limited image of perfection. You can become so much and you can find the new you.
Thoughts on how to free yourself from the image of perfection.
You are one in billions of people – There are billions of people in this world and you are one of them. Do you really think that you are perfect in comparison to all others. It is just an illusion. There are people who are better than you and there are people who are not better than you, but everything is subjective. Live your life the way you want and do not worry about what others think about you. To be honest they really do not have time.
Short memory – I am not sure if it is unfortunate or fortunate, but people do have short memories. Neither will they remember your success for a long time, nor your failures. So take the advantage of this facility and try something new and even if you fail at that, remember we all have short memories.
Freedom from fear – We will feel the real freedom when we do not have the fear of losing our perfect image. How light will you feel when you do not give right to other people to judge you. This is true. We only give strength to others judgments, otherwise they are just useless opinions.
Pure expression – The world will see the true evolution when each of us will be at our best and that happens when we are expressing our true self.
When I write, I do not think if everyone will like it or not. I just try to share my thoughts which might be helpful to others. The best part is that people complement me and they also let me know my mistakes. I pray to god that I want to be a writer, but not the perfect one.