"To overcome perfectionism, you’d have to learn to accept reality for what it is at any given moment." ~ Pavel Somov
One of the aha moments for me in Pavel Somov’s book Present Perfect was that as a perfectionist, I was rejecting reality. I was not accepting things were as they were. In my mind, I believed that I knew what perfection was and I was doing everything in my power to make me perfect and the situation perfect. I was spending way too much time and effort striving to perfect the present moment to be in line with what I thought reality should be. No wonder I felt so much pressure and stress.
Somov states, “We can think of things being different from how they are at this point in time, but this hypothetically better, ideal reality exists only in our minds. In reality, there is just reality.” This is so true; I realized I was living in my thoughts and not in the reality of the present moment. The advice that the author gives is to practice acceptance of this present moment as perfect. Many people view that acceptance and surrender means passivity. But acceptance is an active engagement of being mindful of the present moment and having the courage to be fully present. When you practice acceptance there is no comparison or judgment. Perfectionists are constantly judging what is with what theoretically could or should be. With acceptance I have learned that I am perfect and doing the best I can with my current level of knowledge. If I make a mistake, I own up to the mistake and recognize how to change and improve. The most important thing is to know that the present moment is perfect. It might not be what I had planned, but when I accept that this is how it is, life flows so much easier, and in most instances things are better than I ever imagined in my mind.
Have you ever rejected reality by having a perfectionistic view of how things should be?
Do you accept reality for what it is at any given moment?
Peggy Steffens is an artist and Chopra Certified Meditation Instructor
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