I still frequently suffer from this vice. As a kid, I really wanted to be cool. I had no earthly idea how to actually do that though. Much of my childhood and young teenage years were a series of terribly awkward and misguided attempts at achieving this goal. And, I would beat the shit out of myself for any perceived misstep from this pursuit of cool.
In my later teen years this “pursuit of cool” transformed into various attempts at being perfect at things. Writing, acting, music, dating, reading, walking, speaking, eating, thinking, breathing…I drove myself crazy trying to figure out the right way to do everything. I never realized I was supposed to be the one defining that for myself. I was too busy beating myself my up.
There’s no such thing as perfection. At least not in the objective sense. We all know that perfection cannot be reached intellectually. It’s a cliché at this point. Moreover, even if an image of perfection were to be reached, it stands to reason that a flaw could still be found to create another unattainable goal of perfection. An endless cycle.
Yet, the pursuit of perfection still runs rampant in nearly every facet of our society. Why go after an unachievable goal? Lack of purpose? Sadistic tendencies?
For those of us who are inclined to be perfectionists, this pursuit is a debilitating tendency that frequently leads to self-doubt and self-deprecation.
I have found more recently having this attitude is counterproductive for my goals. The less I beat the crap out of myself for missing the mark (that I set for myself), the better my results have been. I had to let go of the outcome and instead just focus on the satisfaction I could derive from the progress I was making.
Cool is overrated. Plus, you can define that for yourself too!