Fear of imperfection

Updated: Mar 13, 2019

If you were to follow me around all day, every day for a week, you would see that I have different personalities almost everywhere I go. In the large groups, I am quiet, but might open up a little bit if we break out into smaller groups. In most school classes, I am the one who keeps to herself, collaborating with only a few people voluntarily. In theater and dance, I am not that at all. I am a whole lot more outgoing.

People change their appearance to others depending on who they are with. Human nature tends to always be nervous around certain individuals, or certain kinds of people. Whether there is a large amount of those people, or only a few, everyone acts differently depending on the circumstance. Many people have observed these habits in all of human nature. For example, Matt Damon said, “It’s better to be a fake somebody than a real nobody.” Many people choose to live by those standards, and wherever they feel like a real nobody, they pretend to be “a somebody” to have a sense of equality within them, when they don't need it. Abraham Lincoln said “Whatever you are, be a good one.”

You don’t need to be perfect; nobody is. Salvador Dali observed, “Have no fear of perfection. You’ll never reach it.” Everyone, no matter who you are, wants to be perfect at something. Have perfect grades, have a perfect skill, or even have a perfect reputation among your peers. If you are like me, and probably many others, you have made a habit of fearing perfection among your peers. It is difficult to break these types of habits. I know that I am trying to break my own habits, but am nowhere near being free of those fears of imperfection. However, I keep trying. Lao Tze said “Watch your habits; they become your character. Your character becomes your destiny.” If you don't try to free yourself of your habits, they will become who you are and stay with you for the rest of your life. And I personally do not want to be defined by my fears and flaws.

Bernard M. Baruch, a presidential economic advisor, said something that truly speaks to those who pretend to be who they are not. He said, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” The people who you act differently around, you have no need to do so because if they truly care about you and matter to you, they will not judge you for being who you are. And if they do, then they don't matter. All that matters is those who do care about you, because they are the ones you can trust. They are the ones you need to find in your life. Trust me, I learned this very recently. The problem with this though, is that people don’t think about this when they act. They only care about being what they think is correct.

When you only care about acting how you think you should to fit in, you aren’t being you. If you are pretending to be what society says you should be, you are becoming that person. We are not supposed to try and be someone we are not.

1 Corinthians 15:33 reads, “Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for ‘bad company corrupts good character.’” Everyone has good character, but there are so many of us who choose not to show it. We choose, rather, to show a fake character, wanting others to like us. Everyone wants to be someone they are not. They want to be a “loved by society” person.

In the end, everyone, no matter who they are, has tried, will try, or continually tries to impress those around them, because they think they have to. It is in our nature to try and follow what society seems to tell us to do. So, when society tells us to act a certain way, we do so in front of those who seem to be most important in the societal balance of the universe, our peers. But you do not have to give in to this fear of perfection. Do not let your habit of fear define you, because you are so much more than your imperfections.

- Zoe P.

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