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Perfectly Imperfect

BunksBunks Australia Veteran
edited July 24 in General Banter

Perfectionism - a personality trait characterized by a person's striving for flawlessness and setting high performance standards, accompanied by critical self-evaluations and concerns regarding others' evaluations.

Perfectionism is something I am very familiar with which caused me often crippling anxiety as a teenager and young adult.

I've attached a test to take if you're interested. It breaks perfectionism down into the following categories:

  1. Self-oriented perfectionism: We put pressure on ourselves to attain unrealistic and impossible standards. This is associated with self criticism, intense self scrutiny and the inability to accept any mistakes or failings in ourselves.
  2. Other-oriented perfectionism: We expect others to meet unrealistically high standards - it's a way of externalising the pressure we feel.
  3. Socially Prescribed perfectionism: We believe that others expect us to meet standards so high that they are impossible for us to reach.

I found it useful to find out the areas on which I should focus.

Fyi, I scored as below:

Section A: Strong to very strong tendency
Section B: Little or no tendency
Section C: Strong to very strong tendency

Comments

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Very low score on each section. I can't in any way ever be considered to be a perfectionist because I actually lost the will to do the test after question 4 of the 1st section... :D

    Will try harder tomorrow, I'm about to hit the sack...

    Bunks
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    I am striving to perfect being imperfect =)

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I am striving

    Going somewhere?

    Bunks
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Bunks said:
    I am striving to perfect being imperfect =)

    Way ahead of you there, buddy...! :lol:

    Bunkslobster
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @FoibleFull said:
    You should focus on doing your Buddhist practices, and developing compassion for others.
    Rather than focusing on strengthening your attachment to your ego.

    As for being imperfect, until enlightenment we are all imperfect. It is a given. But we become what we dwell on, so accept imperfections but focus on doing better next time (an ongoing process).

    I understand what you're saying but, for me, any tool I can use that helps me understand the cause of my dukkha (and the solution) is Dhamma.

    Regardless of whether it came from the mouth of the Buddha or not.

    Understanding my perfectionism via the test I attached has already benefited me. Which, in turn, then benefits those around me.

    Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu

    ShoshinadamcrossleyDavidKerome
  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran

    @Bunks said:

    @FoibleFull said:
    You should focus on doing your Buddhist practices, and developing compassion for others.
    Rather than focusing on strengthening your attachment to your ego.

    As for being imperfect, until enlightenment we are all imperfect. It is a given. But we become what we dwell on, so accept imperfections but focus on doing better next time (an ongoing process).

    I understand what you're saying but, for me, any tool I can use that helps me understand the cause of my dukkha (and the solution) is Dhamma.

    Regardless of whether it came from the mouth of the Buddha or not.

    Understanding my perfectionism via the test I attached has already benefited me. Which, in turn, then benefits those around me.

    Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu

    Godspeed, as they say. May your path be smooth and without barriers.

    Bunks
  • DimmesdaleDimmesdale Illinois Explorer

    Like Robin Williams said in Good Will Hunting touching on (romantic) love:

    (paraphrasing poorly) It doesn't matter whether you or she are perfect. What matters is you are PERFECT FOR EACH OTHER.

    ShoshinBunksKerome
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Robin Williams. <3

    Bunkslobster
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    Hey now, if go getting all perfected, who's going to learn from your flaws?

    BunksShoshin
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I like this...

    Bunks
  • LionduckLionduck Veteran

    It has been said that it is our imperfections which make us perfect. They certainly make life and people more interesting.

    Peace to all

    ShoshinBunks
  • adamcrossleyadamcrossley Veteran
    edited August 4

    I have inherited perfectionism from my parents on both sides. It’s inescapable.

    Imperfections are certainly necessary for art and religion to exist. What would life be without them?

    Can the Heaven of the Abrahamic religions really be a perfect place? I prefer the Buddhist heaven realms, which are beautiful paradises but not devoid of imperfections.

    BunksDavid
  • LionduckLionduck Veteran

    We are not seeking perfection. Even the historic Buddha or any Buddha is not perfect. He or she is an "Awakend One". Enlightemnent, Awakening, Buddha, arise from the ordinary human being, not the other way around. Absolute understanding, awareness or compassion are not perfection. Perfection is dull. Perfection is monotonous. Perfection is an illusion which can not be maintained.
    It can be said that true perfection is imperfection. It is what makes each of us unique. It is what makes each of us interesting. In fact, our imperfections are what make us great.

    Peace to all

    BunksDavidlobster
  • NamadaNamada Veteran
    edited August 4

    We need perfection to be imperfect, so we should be able to be aware of both sides,
    being imperfect can suddenly be the doorway to a better life, with acceptance for things as they are?

    Yin and Yang, examples:

    The bigger the front, the bigger the back.
    Illness is the doorway to health.
    Tragedy turns to comedy.
    Disasters turn out to be blessings.

    BunksDavid
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    As Ajahn Brahm often says “Good? Bad? Who knows?”

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    imo middle way.both coexist.the trick,be aware it's a matter of perception...the view of form.within form there is perfection,emptiness.this is referrence to the two truth,conventional and ultimated

    the goal of buddha dharma, is to be aquanted with perfection nirvana,peace and love,imo.the way to nirvana is spiritual and natural.the journey to nirvana,can be like being ok with percieve imperfection of percieved dukk-ha while resting at the center middle way and say ha!

    ps,last post.my tv browsers crap.not updated browser.live long and prosper.

    BunksKeromeadamcrossleyDavid
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited August 5

    Is there a model of this perfect being that I can look at? What is it that we are supposed to be? If we were all the pinnacle of this elusive example, would something Integral be missing? If so, what kind of example have we set?

    These are just the first in a large queue of questions that spring to mind when I think of the quest for perfection.

    When I think of the perfect society I picture Shambhala, not just the myth but the movement for an awakened or enlightened collective mindset. So naturally, when I think of the perfect being or state of being, it is awake. The problem and blessing in that is I am no judge of perfection or enlightenment and the beings I find enlightening are all unique.

    I feel the individual should value the greater society as the greater society should value the individual.

    Even if we all woke up at the same time and were all shining examples of the 8FP we would still have different perspectives of this world we are not separate from and these will flavour expression.

    We seem to be explorers by nature and I think everything is information so if two heads are better than one, we have hit the jackpot.

    Today you are you;
    This is truer than true.
    There is no one alive
    That is youer than you.

    Dr. Seuss

    To me, that poem isn't about being special exactly, more like it's about being useful. So I think perfection can only be a subjective process of becoming ever more aware/awake.

    We are already there and once we see that, we can begin.

    Keromeadamcrossley
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    What is perfection other than a vague picture of the ideal in your mind? It strikes me that perfection would be permanent because it would be perfect only just so, and because all that is is impermanent, it is also necessarily imperfect.

    Hence it is best to make peace with imperfection, to learn to forgive one’s flaws after a suitable period of striving to better them. Perfectionists are usually condemned to endless striving after the unreachable ideal, and so are often unhappy people with very little inner peace.

    It is not for nothing that often sutras end with the declaration of the final gnosis when someone has achieved, that 'birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world.' It is a declaration of acceptance, an end to striving.

    BunksDimmesdale
  • DimmesdaleDimmesdale Illinois Explorer

    Speaking personally, regarding other peoples' spiritual walk: I honor and respect all of them. But not everyone can or should tread the same spiritual path. Frankly, I've come to the realization that I am more unspiritual rather than spiritual. I won't go into the specifics for why this is the case, just that, my own personal psycho-dynamics bear little resemblance to the stereotypical "spiritual seeker" who goes deep into renunciation, asceticism, etc. (Though, most "spiritual seekers" in the West aren't that self-denying, to be completely blunt - but THAT'S OK.)

    Suffice it to say, I feel I am more spiritual by accepting that I am in many ways unspiritual. That is my own realization. I'm Homer Simpson, basically. =)

    BunksKundoadamcrossleylobster
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @Dimmesdale said:
    Speaking personally, regarding other peoples' spiritual walk: I honor and respect all of them. But not everyone can or should tread the same spiritual path. Frankly, I've come to the realization that I am more unspiritual rather than spiritual. I won't go into the specifics for why this is the case, just that, my own personal psycho-dynamics bear little resemblance to the stereotypical "spiritual seeker" who goes deep into renunciation, asceticism, etc. (Though, most "spiritual seekers" in the West aren't that self-denying, to be completely blunt - but THAT'S OK.)

    Suffice it to say, I feel I am more spiritual by accepting that I am in many ways unspiritual. That is my own realization. I'm Homer Simpson, basically. =)

    Renunciation = self denial.

    Very difficult for us newbie Westerners to understand and appreciate given our conditioning.

    But I would argue:

    Renunciation = freedom

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Dimmesdale said:
    I'm Homer Simpson, basically. =)

    I’ve always felt that Homer had a certain inevitability in his life pattern, pathos even. If you watch enough of the Simpsons you see him in many situations where that comes to the fore.

    adamcrossley
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