Perfectionism isn’t that perfect.

Ignite Life
October 25, 2015

 burntIsn’t it amazing how you go to the movies to escape from the world and what seemed like a light hearted story really gets you thinking. I went and saw Burnt last night and the themes had me considering a few things.

Without giving away the storyline (as you should go and see it for yourself) it made me reflect on how we interact with the world when we haven’t dealt with the crap that we are still carrying around from our past.

Often this plays out at work, a place where we can get some satisfaction and self worth through what we do. The main character talks of the kitchen being the only place he belonged, this can definitely be true but what we also need to consider is why is work the only thing that makes us feel that way. What are we avoiding in our own lives to think that work gives us that feeling of belonging? Is there something happening outside of work that we are avoiding or is the satisfaction of what we do bringing some light into our life and gives us a sense of purpose and meaning in our life.

In the movie, perfectionism also came to the fore – the high standards of others and ultimately ourselves can lead to a path of self sabotage and disruptive behaviours. It can lead to disappointment, stress, disconnection and avoiding what is really happening behind the scenes. The pressure of having it exactly right is intense and leads to a distrust of others, isolation and a sense that you have to do it all yourself as no one else is up to standard.

The problem with thinking that you can only trust yourself and do it alone is that you miss the realisation that the people around you can really support what you are doing. We need others to help us to be our best and it is remarkable of what can be achieved together.

Striving for greatness is a good thing in our work, but when it comes disruptive to ourselves and reacting to those around us there might be problem. If a colleague (or you) find that its not working having everything exactly perfect and obsessively controlling and finding that life is full of stress and destruction because of it, it might be time to consider… what is really behind this? What needs are not being met elsewhere? Why is perfectionism in the drivers seat? Are there insecurities that are playing out? So on and so forth.

As Ignite Art therapies ventures into focussing more and more with workplace wellbeing and bringing these questions to the fore, we can’t wait to work with others to explore, understand and let go of in order to achieve great things and not have the whole world crashing down if it’s all turned out a bit differently than planned. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we can really appreciate being in the zone rather than being hard on ourselves, frozen in fear or in a space of aggression, isolation and needing everything to be picture perfect that we are not living our life or appreciating what’s around us.

Now that’s something to strive for. I think that things can be perfect and it not have such a massive effect on our life –it’s about what baggage is being carried with it or what meaning is attached to it and how we manage ourselves in the process that is important.

There are a couple more themes that are worth focussing on so stay tuned later in the week I will give you some more things to ponder!

Til then, take care of you