Perfectly Imperfect

fear growth life balance perfectionism simplicity well-being Jan 16, 2023
Charis Santillie sitting on an oak tree
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🎧 👉 Prefer audio? You can also listen to me share about this in podcast episode #038 here.

I am a recovering perfectionist. And I’m willing to bet that if you’re reading this, you are likely also someone who has let perfectionism suck up your time or energy in various ways.

Or maybe you have even had perfectionism prevent you from doing something you really wanted to do because you put all sorts of criteria on what needs to happen before you’d allow yourself to do that thing.

Have you ever thought about that before—that perfectionism has kept you from doing things you’d really like to do?

Think about all the times you have waited to do something (and maybe even still not yet done it) because you have some notion of when would be perfect timing, or once this, then that...

Perfectionism gets you into black-and-white thinking, which is really limiting and keeps you stuck.

Let’s look at this in regard to the concept of balance.

When we think of things being balanced, we often think of scales with both sides having equal weight, and we usually think of splitting something into perfectly equal segments. But in reality, everything in nature, and in our lives, including balance, is usually “imperfect.”

And I think us trying to force anything in our lives to be perfect actually creates internal friction because it’s impossible. And when we have internal friction, all kinds of “negative” emotions show up—like feeling resentful, anxious, or frustrated.

You may have heard me talk before about Positive Intelligence®, which is one of the key frameworks I use in my trainings, and something I also use regularly to support myself.

The core philosophy of Positive Intelligence is that we have a group of Saboteurs inside our mind (specifically the left side of our brain since they are connected to the fear center) and then we have our Sage on the right side of our brain.

There are ten different Saboteurs, with one called the Judge leading the pack, and they do as their titles suggest—they judge and sabotage our lives—they get stuck in black-and-white thinking and are all about creating internal friction.

The saboteur who is connected with perfectionism is called the Stickler. This happens to be one of my top Saboteurs.

So today, I want to share with you some facts about how imperfection is beautiful and magical, and natural—basically, how imperfection is actually perfect.

You may have heard of the Divine Proportion or Golden Ratio. It’s this perfectly imperfect mathematical thing. Basically, using a ratio of 1: 1.618 creates a proportion that is not only pleasing to the human eye, it is also repeatedly found in nature.

Picture a nautilus shell or the spiral pattern of pinecones. It even shows up in something as large as spiral galaxies and something as small as DNA molecules. Even the number of petals on a flower follows this ratio. And many people, including artists like Leonardo Da Vinci, have utilized the Golden Ratio in their work.

Now the reason it can be considered imperfect is that technically the golden ratio is infinite—it literally is a never-ending number—1.6180339887… and on and on… It’s been rounded to 1.618. Even with a supercomputer, we can’t write the exact value for it—you could calculate it out to a million decimal places, and it would still be an approximation.

So 1.618 was determined somewhere along the way to be “good enough.” That’s another phrase I love. I will literally think or say out loud, “perfectly imperfect” and “good enough.”

So I invite you to go for “good enough” and embrace imperfection everywhere you can, especially when it comes to how you are living your life.

If you keep trying to hold yourself and your life to some perfect vision, you’re going to keep disappointing yourself, and you’re going to miss out on the magic that shows up when you start seeing your life as “perfectly imperfect.”

Stop waiting for everything to be perfect before you make changes in your life.

“Perfection is the willingness to be imperfect.”

– Lao Tzu, a Chinese philosopher

🎧 👉 Prefer audio? You can also listen to me share about this in podcast episode #038 here.

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