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What is perfection?

Updated: Mar 24, 2021

This is a word I have banned from my vocabulary!

What even is perfection?

How can we measure it?

Who is able to qualify it?

What does it look like?

Who decides on if it is perfect?

How can we judge when we have got perfection?

How hard a journey is it to get to perfection?

Is what I believe to be perfection the same as someone’s else’s?

Why do we have to achieve perfection?

Why do we beat ourselves up?

How are we judging our idea of perfection?

So many questions! Even the questions alone are exhausting!

Do you ever hear yourself saying, well once I get to --- then I will be happy?

Will you be happy, or will you be onto the next, well once I get to ----?

Why can we not enjoy the journey as we go?

Why can’t we be happy with 80% perfection? Will that not do?

Have you ever heard the words as follows coming into your head?

Well, I got the job because my friend knew the boss.

Well, I got the job due to me being lucky.

Well, I got the job as its really very easy and anyone can do it.

Well, I did ??? --- because.

Well, I am only just ----???

I am terrified that people will realise actually I don’t have the knowledge they think I do.

I feel like a fraud.

Do you always look at what you can’t do or can’t have, rather than valuing what you can do and what you do have?

In society we are really good at not believing in ourselves, why is this? Who do we owe to be perfect to? How to we manage our own perfections? How do we ensure we are satisfied and happy?

I had a client recently who wanted to find a suitable PhD and then win funding for this. I heard words such as I am not good enough, I won’t ever get one! I worry all the time about getting one! I can’t think about anything else! It consumes all my time and energy! What happens when I get my PhD? What will I want to do afterwards?

All of this time, energy and anxiousness were consuming their every moment. We did a great exercise where we looked at what the situation is now. We looked at how would they feel in say 2 years’ time if nothing changes and if things do change looking what it could be like to have the PhD. My client was so scared of even imaging the possibility they could not look into the future and in fact got quite emotional.

It became evident this was too much for my client and in the coaching session I changed tack as whilst the last thing as a coach you want is for your client to be upset. Showing and having emotion does mean that change is more likely to happen, so this has to be really carefully handled, you don’t want them to continue to be upset but you want to try and shift their perspective on the subject they are so concerned about.

So together we looked at things differently and by the end of the session the high pressure this client was giving herself had reduced. Yes, the PhD was their focus, but if it happened in the next 5 years or so that is ok. More importantly, we addressed how the client was going to enjoy everything else in the meantime. As it has happened matters have evolved without so much pressure and other avenues have opened which I am sure the client being more focused as helped them see other opportunities that may or may not lead to a PhD but have huge value in themselves in addition to the PhD.

Going back to the word perfection, this can cause you to not see things clearly as you are so focused on trying to achieve one thing, you don’t then see all the other wonderful things you are achieving meanwhile. My client used the example of, staying in bed an hour longer on a Saturday morning without the guilt of looking for the PhD constantly, this was a huge step for her and supposedly so simple.

Coaching is fabulous for allowing you to see things clearer, take a step back, look at more simple things. Releasing your thoughts can only allow room for other options that you may not have considered.

If this resonates with you, maybe coaching could help you free your mind. I would love to chat to you about this, please feel free to contact me.


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