Being perfectionistic may be an attempt to be seen as superbly competent, and it can support the pursuit of excellence, but it is ultimately futile, in an absolute sense. We can support our personal growth and achievement if we are less obsessed with being perfect.
Personal growth and business coach Molly Gordon says in her thoughtful video that being disappointing is about “living and doing business without defense or justification.”
See Molly’s site Shaboom | Insight and action for happy entrepreneuring.
Also see her articles.
Being willing to be less perfect, to act with less justification, can also help us be less self-critical.
“We can’t all come up with the theory of relativity… the acceptance of that reality is incredibly important.. the end of hating myself for not being that,” said actor Martha Plimpton.
“I can say, Hey man, I’m not going to understand parallel universes… It’s incredibly disappointing… but once you get over that, it can be incredibly freeing… Letting go of this thing I’ve had for 28 years… ‘Golden Child, going to succeed, brilliant future.'” [Surface mag., no.20, 1999]
Also see my article Being Creative and Self-critical.
Masi Oka has a computer science degree, and worked for George Lucas’ visual effects studio, ILM, before acting in his leading role as ‘Hiro Nakamura’ in the TV series Heroes.
On the Tavis Smiley Show (April 27, 2007), he addressed stereotyping and expectations related to high intelligence:
Masi Oka: “You see, I’d rather kind of lower everyone’s expectations. I’d rather be kind of dumb and exceed peoples’ expectations rather than like raise the bar and not be able to meet it, which is like constantly my life.
“My mom definitely had a very high expectation of me, and myself as well. I’ve learned through the years that it’s much easier to live if you lower your expectations.”