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Come as you are


We spend far too much time and energy contemplating our inadequacies. We forget that we are all perfect in our imperfection.
Kate Dillon

As I was waiting for the lights to change at a pedestrian crossing on the corner of Cuba and Vivian Streets I looked up. This is such an interesting, and alternative, part of our city and it always has been. I have so many memories of this area dating back to my childhood.

A message painted on a window of an old building across the road struck a chord with me: ‘Come as you are’.

How often do we actually ‘come as we are’ and even more importantly how often are we accepted ‘as we are’?

I have been known to be labelled by others as a perfectionist. I never feel like this is being said as something I should be proud of. Quite the contrary; it always feels like something bad. I feel put down and worthless as though who I am and what I do is meaningless.

‘Am I really a perfectionist?’ I ask myself.

As I research what a perfectionist is I feel incredibly uncomfortable at what I discover.

‘This isn’t me,’ says the voice in my head rather emphatically.

I find myself questioning myself and the way I work. One thing I realise fairly quickly is that I do strive for excellence. I expect high standards of myself and of others. I want to be the best I can be. Yet perfectionism is something out there on the horizon that I will happily leave to others to strive for.

I know when to let go. I know when enough is enough. I know when I have taken something as far as I can. I have also learnt to love the mistakes, especially in my creative pursuits; they usually add a dimension I never expected or envisaged to whatever I was working on.

I therefore have to ask: Does being committed to doing the best you can be at any given point in time equate to being a perfectionist? Does taking pride in your work mean you’re a perfectionist? Does paying attention to detail mean you’re a perfectionist? Does striving to work to your optimum level mean you’re a perfectionist? Does seeking out new challenges and always slightly raising the bar on your own expectations mean you’re a perfectionist?

I took an online quiz in search of answers to these questions. It turns out my gut reaction was right. I’m not a perfectionist, I’m a high achiever. Now this is a lot more palatable to me.

You’re A High Achiever

You strive toward perfection, but you have a healthy understanding of what is and isn’t possible, and you’re able to enjoy the journey without getting overly hung up on the results. Good for you!

I come as I am.

Please don’t label me without knowing me. Please don’t judge me without trying to understand me and what makes me tick. Accept me for who I am and what I have to offer. Know that whatever you ask me to do I will give it my all and do the very best I can. Don’t then put me down by criticising the very things you have come to expect me.

In turn I am learning to love the fact that I am perfect in my imperfection; as we all are. Be proud of who you are, what you do, and how you do it. If it feels good inside then it is right for you. Being true to yourself is what matters most. If you need to change you will work out how when the time is right. Don’t accept ‘okay’ or ‘good’ for yourself; go for ‘great’ and beyond, and be proud of what you achieve and who you are.

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