Perfection? Who Said Anything about Perfection? ~ Lana Rosales

Via Lana Rosales
on Feb 2, 2013
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Photo: Allen Skyy
Photo: Allen Skyy

Three ways we rob ourselves of happiness.

Somewhere along the way, we let perfection get the best of us. We got caught up in its appeal and found ourselves lost in self-doubt and exhaustion.

We all have our own idea of what perfection is, and this can keep us in a perpetual wheel of dissatisfaction.

Our dreams of the perfect life can pull us forward. They can move us and give us hope of what our futures might look like. But, perfection itself? Not real. It’s mythological.

Perfection doesn’t exist in the orchestrated daydreams we confine our hopes to. It exists in the here and now.

Does this sound familiar? “If I had [insert the infinite list here], everything would be perfect.” These are the classic tales we verse ourselves in.

The reality is, when we’re constantly trying to be perfect, we forfeit happiness. We end up losing ourselves in the endless pursuit (always striving for something beyond us) and never feeling truly satisfied.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t have goals that we strive for. Goals are important, because they keep us in momentum—they keep us facing forward. But it’s also important that we love ourselves where we’re at.

Right now, right here in this moment, you’re beautiful. Exactly as you are (and where you are).

I’ve uncovered three big reasons why the “perfection myth” spins the fabric of unhappiness:

1. While focusing on who we want to become, we lose out on who we are.

We lose moments.

Belly laughs, steeped tea in our living rooms, being swept up in a quiet moment, losing our thoughts to a beautiful face, sunlight gracing our cheeks in the summer.

Perfection lies in the imperfect moments woven with insignificant details. This is where true grace can be found.

Don’t rob yourself of the happiness that exists in this moment. Instead of searching for it on the horizon (a poetic way of saying in the future), look for it where you are.

2. When we finally arrive at where we wanted to get, we won’t know it. Our minds will be years ahead of us and our ideas of the future will always outshine the present.

Stay present. If you don’t, it won’t matter what you have, because you won’t be able to fully experience it. If you can’t appreciate what you have now, how will you ever appreciate what’s in front of you?

It’s good to look toward the future, but while we do it we must stay grounded in the present. This moment, right here, is a good place to be, even if it’s not always perfect.

3. We feel like we never have enough time and we’ll never be able to accomplish all the things we want to.

A few years ago, I had an overwhelming list of “To Dos” for my life—or rather, for the year. It included mastering two languages, being a double-honors student, traveling the world twice over, launching a business and writing a book. And do you know where all that landed me? In anxiety land.

Truly, madly, deeply—my pursuit of perfection actually resulted in me having generalized anxiety.

The stress of not being able to accomplish these things took a toll on my sense of self. So much of the “self” I knew existed only as an ideal. If I couldn’t actually follow through (and achieve) these goals, then what was I?

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was setting myself up for failure (and unhappiness) by expecting myself to be perfect—an unrealistic goal, non?

What’s worse is that I placed all my value in attaining perfection.

So here’s the truth.

Nobody said you have to be perfect (whatever that is, anyway). You don’t have to be everything—you don’t have to have everything—to feel happy.

Where you are right now is okay. No prerequisites necessary.

Deepest love.


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About Lana Rosales

Lana is an indie writer, personal essayist, and film photographer. Currently, she’s writing a collection of essays on addiction and mental illness.


8 Responses to “Perfection? Who Said Anything about Perfection? ~ Lana Rosales”

  1. lynne ziefflie says:

    congrats, Lana- i am SO proud of you!!!!! You r exactly right- where we are right now is justfine; its all part of our journey through life, , i think- at times we get overwhelmed by all the things we expect of ourselves and forget to enjoy the now!!! We willend up where we were always meant to be; the best part is the experiences along the way! I think that trying to be perfect would be exhausting, discouraging and self destructive; who we truly are in our souls is perfection in my eyes; we have to find a way to b true to ourselves and live a genuine life—- regardless of what others think or say! Keep the good advice coming; u r amazing! xoxo

  2. Kim dublanica says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with your wisdom Lana!! Often we get so caught up in the there and then, that we forget about the here and now! Perfection is boring! Even if we were able to attain “perfection”, our lives would suddenly cease to be exciting. On the other hand, what is wrong with seeing the perfection in our imperfectness? Beauty is created out of chaos. I have to often remind myself during times of struggle and strife, that everything is occurring according to universe’s perfect design!! While we seek to fulfill all our wildest dreams, and reach obstacles and roadblocks, we need to remember how perfection shows up in the little things… Such as that great friend who is there to listen and support you on your journey, those quiet moments where you gain inspiration, motivation and courage to go on when you were feeling so lost… or a hug, a smile, or a peck on the cheek from a loved one who sees you as already perfect just as you are!! Keep up the awesome work Lana! I look so forward to reading more of your wise words!

  3. Mama Mia says:

    As always, Lana, your words and depth speak much deeper than your years. You have such amazing insight because of the trials and tribulations you have experienced in your life. Thank you for sharing you with the world and for gently reminding us to stay present yet gently striving for fulfillment whatever that may be. Live your life to the fullest right now – laugh and love and live – be happy, stay strong, be true to who you are.

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