The Search for Perfectionism
The majority of us grow up to learn that success and happiness is something reached only through achievements. Already as we start school at the age of 6(or even before), we are told that the only way to be something in life is by doing good at school. From a young age we are expected to know what we want to become when we grow up, and we learn that each step we take from here are creating the groundwork for our future. We then have the after school activities, we are all expected to find one that we should love, and become really good at. And god forbid that we end up as a loner! Finding friends are crucial, and our social life needs to be well looked after if we want a fulfilled life. For many of us, it is not enough just to have real friends, we also want them to view us as cool, funny and pretty. It can be rather exhausting trying to obtain this appearance. We can see how the framework are lined up for us already at primary school, and without even knowing it, children starts acting according to societies view on “normal”. Yet the grown ups keep preaching the importance of finding yourself. But how are we expected to “find ourself” when our path is already laid out for us as we enter this world? Our own dreams easily get mixed up with outside expectations, and for many of us the dreams fad away as we grow older and enter the education system.
We are a society filled with competition and comparison. We look at people around us, see all they achieve, and we are terrified of being any less. Our expectations towards us self grows, and soon they become so unreachable that instead of giving us self a clap on the shoulder, we begin to beat us self up because we can’t reach them. Maybe not so surprising considering what we are fed through media. The people we see in movies, social media, blogs etc seems so perfect, beautiful, happy and successful, that we look at our own life and wonder why we failed so hard. We forget that not even those people, looks like those people, we are only invited into a small glimpse of their life, and understandable enough they choose to show us the good parts. But there we are, left in a race towards something that dont exist, the race for perfection.
Non of us are born full of self hatred and low self-esteem. These are learned behaviors that we adapt from our parents, friend, and society as we grow. There are not a single human being that deep inside dont desire to be loved, and the reality is that most of us believe that love can only be reached through actions. When you get an A at a paper at school, you get a clap on the shoulder and a “well done” from you teacher and parents, and you know that you did something right. In todays society we are too often complimented for our appearance and achievements. This can easily begin a ripple effect of searching for validation and happiness outside of ourself.
But what if we could change this. What if, instead of getting validation for our appearance and achievements, we were complimented for our uniqueness? What if we were encourage to find our own voice and path, that we were told that even if we dont do good at school, we will be ok. What if?