What does the word “perfect” mean to you? Being perfect or working on perfection seems to be as popular as baseball and hot dogs. My guess would be that we all spend far too much time striving for perfection. I often talk to my clients about their anxiety, and I have to wonder how much anxiety they would experience if they had no concept of perfection.

What exactly does it mean to be perfect? That’s the elephant in the room. Right? What is perfect to me is not the same thing as what is perfect to you. Which definition of perfection should we be striving to achieve? Does it mean different things when applied to ourselves as compared to when it is applied it to someone else?

Does the idea of perfection take on a different meaning when applied to people verses physical things? According to the dictionary, perfect means, “having no mistakes or flaws.” By that definition, no person on the planet will ever be perfect. All humans have flaws and make mistakes. It’s simply part of the human equation. So why do we even try?

For me personally, I do try my best to be the best I can be. That is the top layer, so to speak. Underneath that layer, I realize that I will never be perfect. My perfection shows itself in the form of trying to be my best as well as striving to be better than yesterday. Maybe that means that I’m a perfectionist about trying!

While perfection does not always feel like a realistic goal, giving up before beginning or accepting the status quo can often feel like a failure. You’ve heard the saying that failure is simply never trying at all. Perhaps this is true. Not many people I know hit perfection the first time they step up to bat. All that practice – the trying to be better – is what gets us closer and closer to that illusive perfection.

Is perfection different when we discuss physical things verses people? When we build a table, for example, if we cut a board too short or too long we can simply cut another board. If we paint it the wrong color, we can simply repaint it. With people and their actions, however, we do not get the opportunity for “do overs” in the same way.  When we mess up something we are making or building, we can tell people that we are not finished with it yet. That way, they don’t really see mistakes, they see a work in progress. That sure sounds better than, “I failed.”

If we can apply the “do over” principle to physical things, why not also use that with people? When a friend or family member does something inappropriate, what if we allowed them a chance for a “do over?” Imagine what the world would be like if everyone gave a second chance as freely to people as we do to material creations?

As we consider the days, weeks, and months ahead, try being more flexible of your definition of perfection. Through in two parts of patience and forgiveness for every one part evaluation of perfection. If you struggle with this, please call me at 559-400-1352. I apologize in advance that you have to dial that number perfectly, or I will not be the one to answer.

Mary Gant Bell is the owner of Permission, where she does CranioSacral Therapy, Raindrop Technique, body massage, and teaches people about therapeutic-grade essential oils for health and wellness. Although her business is in Clovis, California, Mary is a member of the Fresno Polka Dot Powerhouse chapter, which is just down the street from her office. When she is not at work, Mary enjoys making videos (for business as well as pleasure), quilting, and playing with her cats. For more information about Permission, please visit www.PermissionCST.com or facebook.com/PermissionCST.