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  • Writer's pictureEmily Kerr

Letting go of “Perfect”

When we think of perfection, we often think of flawless, effortless, and free of defects. How are we as humans able to live up to this standard and is it applicable to humans in the first place? 

Perfection is in the eye of the beholder and therefore, largely subjective. What I may feel was “as good as it possibly could be,” may be very different from the experience and judgment of another. Yet, we often have this invisible standard that we strive for that can sometimes set us up for disappointment. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “because I’m not good enough” in a client session. Upon further exploration, we often learn that the standard they’ve internalized is impossible to achieve. However, just because it’s impossible, doesn’t make the allure of achieving it dissipate. Who set this impossible standard you ask?

Society, culture, family, spouses, and friends may intentionally or unintentionally contribute to holding these unrealistic standards for themselves and for you, and so often, we go about our days without questioning these expectations—we simply judge. We judge ourselves, we judge others, we even judge small children who have yet to be indoctrinated into these unrealistic standards. It’s not until you truly explore what standards you’re setting for yourself and what informs them, that you can then examine the ones imposed upon you, evaluate them, and move away from those that aren’t serving you. If you're often disappointed when reflecting on your image, your performance, and your abilities, then this is a clue that it’s time to re-evaluate your standards and challenge this dysfunctional and subjective concept of perfection.

Being human is categorically and unequivocally at odds with “perfection” and it’s time you found a new measuring stick!

Dr. Emily A. Kerr is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and owner of EK Counseling, LLC, a Denver therapy practice. With over thirteen years of experience treating individuals and couples, she brings her candor, humor, and motivation to each session. She specializes in eating disorders, body image struggles, sexuality and gender, life transitions, general anxiety, and building self-esteem. If you are struggling to make a transition, or you just need extra support to create lasting lifestyle changes, please call to schedule an appointment.

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