During two of my favourite past times, drinking tea and deep soul chats, I shared what I’ve coined the Perfection Complex. For me this complex began at a very young age – like I believe it does for most girls – where we incorporate into our belief system the need to be perfect for everyone at all times in all situations: because of it, we are constantly judging, comparing and trying to please others.
“When you aim for perfection, you discover it’s a moving target.” Geoffery F. Fischer
It is the learned human condition to judge other people because we see them as separate from ourselves and from Source. This couldn’t be more false, but our limited sensory perceptions provides us with an experience that tells us this is so. The Ego lives in this space of separation, whispering in your ear statements like, “she looks terrible in that outfit.” Some people are judging others all the time. Even more alarming is the fact that we do it to ourselves. We take a glance in the mirror, and although unconscious at times, pick out our flaws. Criticizing others is the first way to tell if you are critical of yourself. The Ego (or fear voice) feeds off of self doubt and criticism; it doesn’t take into account how you are a great sister, friend, daughter, partner, employee, parent, or spouse. The Ego notices flaws because flaws keep you wanting more; the flaws create judgement, insecurity, dependency and fear.
Another way the Perfection Complex manifests is through comparisons. This can be seen through jealousy. We look to other’s to feel better or worse about ourselves because we think, yet again, that we are individualistic, separate, unique, better, worse, etc., Jealously makes us feel someone has something that we do not possess. Of course we do have different outward looks, and different skills, talents, abilities or financial statements, but at the base of it all, we are the same. If this statement makes you feel uncomfortable I assure you it is the Ego who has been stirred. Girls usually find reasons someone is prettier, has more friends, money, boyfriends, influence, and talent. This complex pressures us to grade ourselves against the external world when we should be joining forces with our inner world and with each other! There is no comparison when we all come from the same place – LOVE.
Trying to please everyone has been a personal experience of mine for years. I’m learning how to say no when it doesn’t serve my Spirit and yes when it does. The Perfection Complex was brought up in the first place because of singing. I love to sing but I’ve been afraid of this talent all of my life and I’m learning why. I can remember being approximately 8 years old and my girlfriend and I were going to do a talent show for my parents. I completely chickened out at the last minute and couldn’t perform. I remember exactly how I felt. It is always the same – an intense fear of judgement, failure and an inability to make everyone happy, including myself. Someone might not like my voice! I was asked to sing at my girlfriend’s wedding a few years back and I avoided giving her an answer for so long that she ended up giving the main song to another girl. Finally she emailed me and said, “I know you are avoiding me because you are afraid to sing, but even if you aren’t singing me down the isle, you're singing at my wedding!” I ended up doing it and it wasn’t as scary as I remembered, showcasing how far I've come. I also volunteered for 2 years doing music therapy with individuals with schizophrenia and that allowed me to get back into not caring what I sounded like. We shared that space as a container for healing, not for competition.
A Course in Miracles says, "I am never upset for the reason I think" and this has been such a powerful statement for me in many arenas in life. The fear of singing is not about singing, but rather a fear of failure, disappointment and judgment - not to mention a past life for being killed for using my voice. You can usually find out what you need to work through by what you are being triggered by. I know I’m working through this because to this day I start to cry whenever I hear beautiful vocals. I yearn to explore the inner joyous chambers of healing through continued expression of music, writing and art. When I witness someone with the ability to sing like no one is listening, or anyone performing from their truth, transcending their body, time and space, that is when I feel in the presence of Source Energy. What is it that makes you come alive? Is the Perfection Complex stopping you from reaching your full potential? Remember, “Try as hard as we may for perfection, the net result of our labours is an amazing variety of imperfections. . .” (Samuel Crothers)