As someone who battles perfectionism on a daily basis, I can acknowledge that in the past I've worn it as a badge of honor. Being a perfectionist has come up from time to time in work reviews as a positive. That has only tightened the chains of my dependency on this thought process.
In fact, when you are a perfectionist, you are part of this elite group of people we are type A, frequently stressed, rarely happy and constantly beating themselves up. You are in this special program to be perfect. Who wouldn't want to join? It's never ending, and your chances of meeting your moving target goals are very slim. There is constant pressure and disappointment. You are not very fun to be around, and you must buy into the myth that perfect is real.
When I think about the people I love to spend my time with, they are not perfect, and that is what I like best about them. That has helped me slowly realize that I don't need to try to be perfect. When I look the part and attempt to be "perfect" those are some of my darkest days because I'm fighting so hard against myself. I'm fighting against the voice in my head that constantly tells me to do and be better. The "perfect" exterior is a fragile, eggshell to cover my vulnerability. The truth is that the exterior is fallible and constantly changing.
Kindness is what matters the most. Kindness to ourselves, kindness to others and kindness towards life. Knowing that it will change, and we can't predict what we will happen. However, if we are present and thankful, we can enjoy the moments and make new memories. When you focus on being perfect, you can't quiet the voice in your mind enough to see the beauty in front of you.
Chihuly's works in Seattle, WA