The pursuit of perfection and how to control life so that it can exist….
Single-handedly, this has been the most destructive paradigm when it comes to my mental health.
AND yet, I found myself in a career where having that trait is not only cherished, it is expected and cultivated from the very first time someone starts thinking about being a doctor. Which, for me, was in the 6th grade. At which point, it became clear that the drive to achieve this goal required relentless fulfillment of said pursuit.
In recent years, I have had to question… what is perfection? So many things that I thought would come as a result of this pursuit have not emerged. It is tangible yet elusive.
The worst aspect of trying to find perfection is that it limits collaboration and breeds self-doubt when not present. And this can especially be seen in medical school training. Honestly, I am not sure where this expectation began to be the norm for healers in their training??? Maybe someone else has some insight about this?
I admit it, though, I still get a little dopamine rush when I feel that I have done something “perfect” – what a funny human I am.
I am, however, as a grand gesture, granting anyone who is reading this an A+ for everything you do today. Let the inner critic settle and embrace the idea that whatever you are doing is enough. That you are enough. That what you can offer is enough. Maybe that is a bit paradoxical after I mentioned how detrimental it was to seek that in life though if I had said I grant everyone an F, our brains would protest. Ultimately though, the only person that can qualify ourselves is ourselves. It is an inside job to ask the other questions to emerge, like…. “what would love do?” Developing self-compassion has probably been more challenging than pursuing perfection; however, it is worth it.
Please honor anyone taking a step away from the current commitment to prioritize mental health?
No matter how big or small the work—especially anyone who has been serving others these last 18 months. Just as we need to heal the physical aspects of ourselves, taking time away to address mental, emotional, and spiritual health is normal, and it takes tremendous cards to recognize help is needed.