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Even da Vinci couldn’t paint a perfect smile! [Perfectionist this is for you!]

wellness Jan 02, 2018

By A. Yanina Gomez, PhD

Could you imagine Madam Lisa del Giocondo (Gherardini) suing Leonardo da Vinci for not painting a perfect smile on her portrait? We all know that Lisa’s smile on the painting is not necessarily “perfect.” Even da Vinci couldn’t paint a perfect smile! Yet, his painting, Mona Lisa,is one of the most famous portraits in the world!

The more I work with driven people, the more I notice how they tend to put A LOT of pressure on themselves. They believe that things have to be perfect! My art must be perfect before it comes out or my presentation must be beyond perfect before I share it with others.

“There no time to fix mistakes! Everything must be PERFECT!”

But, why do we put so much pressure on ourselves wanting to be PERFECT? What happens when we fall short on our quest for perfection? Sometimes, I hear artists say that they will find happiness only when the perfect gallery represents them. 

Some may say…

“I’ll be satisfied with my life when things start going perfect!”

“I won’t feel complete until I get that position.”

Frankly, as long as we are human beings, we will never reach full perfection. And, seeing perfection as your identity is a very dangerous choice. 

As we thrive for perfection, we encounter stress, anxiety, frustrations and disappointments simply because we are unable to control all circumstances or events that occur in our lives. And often times, waiting for the perfect opportunity, position, product, look, feeling or time to launch your website may end up being too late! The truth is that, by default, we have the tendency to make mistakes.

Instead of adding more tension to yourself, may I suggest switching your focus from reaching perfection to reaching excellence?

Excellence is reachable, perfection is not always a possibility. By no means I am underestimating your ability or potential. There are situations and circumstances that end up perfectly.

“I was in the right place at the right time.“

Fair enough! But, these circumstances are not the norm. And your attempt to reach for perfection simply adds unnecessary stress and anxiety to your life. Why not focusing on becoming an excellent person, professional, artist, friend, significant other, etc.? This mindset has the potential to remove mediocrity while adding focus and meaning to your life.

Intentionally look for opportunities to grow and develop personally and professionally. Use your gift to make a difference in the life of others. Don’t stay behind, be ahead of the game!

What emotions or thoughts come to mind when you push yourself toward perfection versus pushing yourself toward excellence?

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