Becoming Human
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Politics and Activism

Becoming Human

What it feels like to be a perfectionist and ways to counter that feeling.

Becoming Human


"A perfectionist works hard to influence those around them. They work hard to be friends with all. They work hard to give their all in all relationships. They put themselves on a peddle stool every day and continue to fall off because man isn't meant to be perfect. And often those around them say, 'I will love you no matter what, even if you show you aren't perfect.' Part of us believes them...but part of us can't fight off the need to be perfect for all. So we bury our feelings. We hide our imperfections as best we can. And when someone finally does believe the facade...we cry. Because it's sometimes those you love the most who don't understand. I am not perfect. I fail every day. And when people say I am a great role model, I cringe, because to be great means perfect. And even my perfectionist heart isn't possible to be perfect after all. We want people to know we are flawed and we make mistakes just as they do. We want to be loved despite those flaws. We want to hear, 'I love you anyways.'"

I wrote that in a moment when I was feeling particularly pressured by my own personal demon of being a perfectionist. Some people here talk of perfectionists and think, “oh that person thinks they are so much better than everyone else.” This is a common mistake of course because I know for a fact that we can come off as the “holier than thou” type. But for me it has mostly just been a struggle to learn that I can never be perfect and cope with the fact that I am human, I am flawed, and that is perfectly fine. For some reason my mind built this false concept of what it meant to be a good friend, a good role model. I thought that it meant always making everyone happy and always making the right decisions. I thought it meant that I could never show weakness and I had to always be ready for a performance and the pretense of happiness. And to answer any lurking questions, it wasn’t my family that made me feel like I needed to be fake, I came to that conclusion on my own. So I slowly became so consumed with the desire to be everything and never do wrong that those moments of “failure” turned into moments that gave me peace. I saw in those moments that those I loved and cared about could handle the fact that I am human and they would love me anyways. In some cases people were even relieved to see me mess up. I began to allow people to see my humanity, I showed them I was vulnerable and they respected me even more for it. Today, I can laugh at the perfectionist that I used to be. I am free to be myself and do amazing things and if I fall I get up again with the help of those I love and get back on track.

This article is for all my fellow perfectionists out there. I wanna tell you that you are perfect just the way you are. You don’t have to be fake, people will love and respect you for who you are. Have a buddy system, tell someone about what you are going through and let them help you be more human. I promise you will feel happier and better than you have in a long time. There will be days that are harder to overcome than others. You will still have irrational expectations of yourself that are impossible to meet, but you will also find ways to counter those expectations. I keep a list, I remind myself, “I am human, everyone makes mistakes, you are not a failure because you fail one quiz out of hundreds or miss a friends birthday because you forgot.” Fill your mind up with rational truths during those meltdowns I know you have. If you can, bring yourself to have someone in your life who you trust and believe can talk you down. Keep a journal for yourself of things that ground you and keep you calm. Always remember that life is better lived while becoming human not perfect.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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