We tightly grasp glorified perceptions of self. When these perceptions are challenged, we defensively strike back. It’s natural; a secure sense of self creates a foundation to evaluate experience. We judge experience by personal impact. Our ego shudders with discomfort when it’s the self in the equation that is in need of change. Underneath conscious acknowledgement of personal imperfection lies—the fear of actually being imperfect. We don’t easily concede we are partly responsible for the struggling relationships; it’s our imperfect, selfish partner’s fault. We prefer not to consider our subpar work performance is the reason we were skipped over for promotion.
We can’t implement changes until we recognize the imperfections. We want security but security obtained by refusing to acknowledge imperfections impedes growth. Acknowledging weakness rocks the fragile ego. But the overwhelming fear of change stagnates growth—growth necessary to develop essential skills to surmount the reoccurring challenges. Fear is discomforting. It’s scary. Denying shortcomings soothes the fear and cloaks vulnerabilities. But like a scared child placing hands over her eyes, the unseen danger still lurks with the power to destroy. We’re not perfect. Desirable character traits demand constant effort. By self-judging through unfair comparisons, each mark, scar, and blemish overwhelms.
This perfection mindset must be dismantled. The capitalistic framework of comparative value is socially engrained. We treat ourselves as marketable items, placed on a shelve, only able to expose the best self.
“This is better than that.” “This is of little worth.”
In a few areas, this may be appropriate. But for overall well-being, comparing value distracts and stagnates growth, while disrupting inner-peace. Constant comparative thoughts of status disconnects us from others and limits accurate self-evaluations. We should challenge these limiting thoughts, recognizing their harmful invasion into our well-being. Don't let them infest and destroy. By challenging judgmental measures of worth, of both self and others, we transform self-reflection into a beneficial practice, providing life giving knowledge, rather than painful and disrupting guilt or shame.
Life is precious. We’re in it together. There’s no need for a comparative value in most situations, just accept the beauty of living, creating a better person, adding to the world with compassion and kindness. Let Go, and Grow!