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Being Perfectly Imperfect!

There would be no need for love if perfection was possible. Love arises from our imperfection, from our being different and always in need of the forgiveness and encouragement.


The world-renowned artist Michelangelo took around 8 years to complete his sculpture Duomo Pietã, but eventually took a hammer and broke down parts of it because it didn’t seem perfect to him. Vasari gave several reasons on why Michelangelo would have done that, “Either because of the defects in the marble, or because the stone was so hard that the chisel often struck sparks, or because he was too severe a judge of his own work and could never be content with anything he did”. Michelangelo himself admitted that if he was to satisfy himself he would show either little or nothing. The reason being he wouldn’t even want to see a slightest error in his art and it was so easy for him to spot them with the amount of knowledge he had of art.

Our intolerance to imperfections can prove detrimental to our progress and growth. Social media, where flaws are carefully hidden, can play a role in our view of perfectionism. It often portrays a world which is far too often distant from reality and injects in us some form of inadequacy for not being flawless.

Researchers Hewitt and Flett devised “Multidimensional perfection scale”, that represents three aspects of perfectionism:

1) Self-oriented perfectionism

That refers to having unrealistic expectations and standards to oneself.

2) Others oriented perfectionism –

Others oriented perfectionism sets up unrealistic standards and expectations of others. People often find it difficult to work under or be with this category of people because of their intolerance towards the imperfection on others side.

3) Socially prescribed perfectionism –

This trait is often instilled in people because of lofty expectations from parents or significant people in their surroundings who were in involved in their upbringing.

While perfection is often perceived as a badge of honour and not a flaw, its after effects may prove quite the contrary. Perfectionism can lead to excessive procrastination, reassurance seeking, compulsive behaviour and unrealistic standards to name a few. Here are few ways through which you can deal with it.

Get to know what matters

Not everything is worth the striving. The famous coffee chain in India Café Coffee Day’s owner committed suicide because of 7000Cr debt of the company. However, his wife Malavika Hegde brought down the debt to less than 5% by closing down outlets where it didn’t matter as much and giving shares of the company.

Little things matter

Embrace your small victories, don’t wait until it’s all perfect one day to celebrate. For all you know, today you might be living a past dream of yours.

Seek help

If it’s overwhelming don’t shy away from medical help. There’s cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic/ interpersonal therapy, and other treatment modalities to help you out.

To conclude, every rose has thorns and each of us has imperfections that we think we would be better without. The Bible offers us comfort as the God of the Bible states, “ My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”. Let’s embrace and start working on the flaws in us. Let us also deal with love when we see flaws in others.


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