Perfection is a mirage that many of us attempt to reach at some point in our life. Like weary desert dwellers, we thirst for the waters of this illusory oasis, which we believe will quench our thirst for glory.
The mirage might be a projection of our desire for the perfect partner, job, home, bank balance, etc.
While there is no doubt that the quality of our life can improve as we progress towards it, the joy that we derive from it will gradually diminish once we realize that our choice is not so perfect after all.
Sooner or later, driving that Bentley will become mundane, or that diamond necklace will lose its luster, or your attractive mate will start getting on your nerves – in other words, the flaws get magnified.
The unrealistic standards that come from a need for perfection were developed in our youth. Because our performance at school, extra-curricular activities and the social sphere were constantly under the magnifying glass, many of us were under a lot of pressure to perform well in all these areas.
If we did not meet the expectations of our family, teachers or peers, we did not get their approval. Hence, from early on, we learned that the only way to be accepted by others was by reaching perfection.
While it is important to motivate kids to strive to do their best, what isn’t right is placing heavy demands on them to get it right every single time, and admonishing them when they make genuine mistakes.
A majority of the children who are exposed to such high-pressure environments grow into adults who fear the decision-making process because they are so afraid of getting it wrong (and failing). I know exactly how that feels because I was one of those kids.
Although I’m a naturally self-driven person, the competitive environment I grew up in escalated my healthy determination into unfounded anxiety. I was so attached to my vision of the “perfect life” that the possibility of deviating from it, because of making bad choices, caused me undue stress.
After many years of carrying this heavy psychic burden, I finally had a breakthrough after attending a Tony Robbins retreat in Bali. Tony talked about how we have all created our own rules and standards that dictate how we think and live our lives.
He then went on to say that one of the major causes of pain that people experience nowadays is caused by their inability to let go of these rules, and trust the natural flow of life. So many people hold on to these old thought patterns and beliefs, which end up severely limiting their growth and progress.
After listening to these wise words, I shifted from seeing my ideals for perfection as a source of confinement to a source of liberation. Like my own North Star, it guides me on my path but I stay flexible about the vehicles (and choices) that will help me get there.
I also found comfort in knowing that I always have the support of a Higher Force that can offer me guidance in making choices that are in my (and others) best interests. All I have to do to access this abundant wisdom, that’s sourced from a Universal Intelligence, is tune into my intuition and pay attention to the signs and synchronicities around me.
- Sometimes, you have to make wrong choices in order to make the right ones: When we try out different options, we become more self-aware by learning what works for us and what doesn’t. We may have to work in a 9-5 job for a couple of years to realize that we would much rather be our own boss. We may have to kiss a few frogs before knowing what kind of person floats our boat. In this way, we gain wisdom and valuable feedback.
- Every single choice will have its own pros and cons: Novelty can give us rose-colored glasses, but when the rosy tint fades away, we will be able see the disadvantages in every choice. For this reason, it’s important for us to figure out what our deal-breakers are and what sacrifices we are willing to make before making any important decisions. We feel more at ease when we embrace this paradox of choice.
- Strive for making the most authentic choice, versus the perfect one: An authentic choice is simply one that feels right to us and is in alignment with our values and purpose. Even if it isn’t the easiest path or it doesn’t look pretty on the outside, if it is in integrity with what’s most important to you, you should go ahead with it because it will eventually lead you down your highest path.
- Don’t give in to a scarcity mindset: On an instinctual level, most of us feel the finiteness of our lives. We know that our time, energy and attention span is limited – this makes us judicious about our decisions. However, we need to watch out for slipping into a state of desperation and fear. We should instead cultivate a mindset of abundance so that this energy will be reflected in our outcomes.
- Find joy within yourself so that you don’t have to seek it elsewhere: When we make joy a constant within ourselves, we become less dependent on sourcing it from the outside world. We can cultivate joy within us through spiritual practices, such as meditation, writing a gratitude journal, or anything that helps us go within and create balance. A focus on being of service to others and displaying simple acts of kindness towards others also raises our frequency to a state of joy.
Very soon, we realize that every life choice that we make is part of a complex, universal tapestry. Every single thread is interconnected, and as we evolve from the wisdom of our experiences, both good and bad, we gradually learn how to weave all these threads together into one giant masterpiece.
All my best on your journey,
Question for you: Have you had a tough time making choices in your life? If yes, what was the major obstacle and how can you begin to shift it? Do you believe that it’s important for you to make the perfect choice?
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