Yesterday we sat down with Ivonne from imi design for our own wedding invitations (exciting times!!!) and we talked about perfectionism and how perfectionism is more a word for never being satisfied. It is a curse in our time that people would say something has to be perfect – because let’s be honest: what does perfect mean? Does perfect mean something is without fault and without flaws? I don’t think so. For perfect means being true and authentic. There is nothing like a perfect image or a perfect design but there are perfect moments filled with laughter and joy and tears that ruin your mascara because you have to laugh so hard. There are perfect evenings with friends that include one glass wine too much and with the headache the next moment you know how perfect the evening was. Perfect is when it feels right.
A while ago on my photography site I wrote a post on perfectionism that I want to share with you today here as I feel that it is more true than it ever was.
Let me start by telling you that I am a person listening more to her gut feeling than thinking rationally. I live from my heart and that means irrational and imperfect.
Back when I was working in the corporate world in the online department of a webshop we were sitting in the meeting room without windows that I hated because it felt like a cave and we were discussing new marketing strategies and alliances with companies. We had one woman over from an affiliate agency who wanted to pitch to us and win us over as a client. At the end of her pitch we were more discussing the details and how working together would look like and she said something like “Oh don’t worry I am a perfectionist” and she started laughing as if she just named one of her positive characteristics.
I hear this quite frequently specially from women “I am a perfectionist” followed by a proud glare in her eyes. Is perfectionism something to be proud of or is it the opposite way, is it a curse?
How can you ever be satisfied with your work when you strive to be perfect? How can you be creative when perfection is the goal?
In the corporate world people wanted me to be perfect. Perfection was the least they could expect from their employees and nothing less was accepted. I felt like being in a cage that was too small for me because I wasn’t perfect. Don’t get me wrong, my work was good but perfectionism meant putting the work above my private life and working endless over hours because that is what perfectionists do and never be happy with the end result because it can always be more perfect.
I choose to have an imperfect life, to create pictures from the heart that tell a story instead of being perfect, to have an unusual way to dress and the most important I choose to love unconditionally above perfection. Because only when you leave perfection behind you and free from the curse of perfection you can love someone unconditionally. Only then you will be loved for who you are with all you pits and flaws with all the dirty laundry waiting for weeks to be washed and your few kilos too much.
When I hear today a woman telling me proudly that she is a perfectionist I don’t see her positive characteristic I see the curse of perfection because perfection will never make her happy.