So I was a guest on a show a few days ago and we spoke about the necessity of authenticity. I shared my perception of the subject matter and my host did the same. It was beautiful to note how much we shared in common as my host and I connected on several levels both intellectually and in perspectives. You can watch the replay below.
As we had that conversation, I came about a new light. And I like the way that my host, Madame Merola puts it, we are “Flawesome”. Meaning we are awesome people with flaws. And when we know and embrace this truth, it makes a whole lot of difference how we begin to see ourselves and others alike.
“I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God’s business.”
― Michael J. Fox
Isn’t it true? The quote above? As humans aiming for perfection is like aiming for the impossible yet, there is a possibility staring back at us in the face and it is called excellence. We have got to break our entanglement with perfection and switch our focus on being excellent at whatever we choose to do.
An ignorant perfectionist
Sometime in the last quarter of 2020, I was in a conversation with a therapist friend of mine and she mentioned the fact that I was a perfectionist. I got defensive immediately. What was going through my head at that instance was how I wasn’t so particular about a lot of things. Or how I sometimes miss the little details. These traits were things I considered work in progress but also attributed to perfectionism, so I could not see what my friend was talking about.
I decided to ask her why she had that impression of me and I was a bit shocked at her source of deduction. It was my Instagram page at the time @ejiroosakede (I lost that page all thanks to Instagram with no concrete explanation of what policy of theirs I defiled 😡). I am now @energeticej_ in case you want to connect with me.
She said something in the line of me having a particular way that my content was curated that didn’t give room for flaws to be seen. To be honest, this didn’t seat well with me at the time, because I was like, but that’s the whole point of building a brand, putting your best foot forward. However, upon further introspection, I discovered that truly there are areas in my life where I operate as a perfectionist. And that conversation opened up that blindspot for me.
The more I considered the matter, I began to remember instances where when there was a slight change in reality compared to what I had envisioned, I will be terribly upset. It was as bad as skipping meals because I can’t have it the way I imagined it in my head. I confused perfectionism for excellence but alas they are two different things.
All that is changing now that I know that there is a difference between both concepts and I am more intentional about being excellent in particular areas in my life per time rather than aiming for perfection.
What is excellence?
According to definitions from Oxford languages, excellence is “the quality of being outstanding or extremely good.”
So my question to you is, what do you aim to be excellent at? May I encourage you to focus on that thing rather than wanting to be a perfect person? What things are you currently good at that you can be extremely good at? If they are more than one, pick one in particular and focus on it for a while until you become extremely good at it and then move on to the next.
How to become excellent at anything.
If excellence is the quality of being extremely good at a thing, it is safe to say that you are excellent at what you have mastered. And to achieve mastery there is a formula I learned from the purpose preacher Dr Samuel Ekundayo.
“Spend one hour per day on anything you are good at and you will be an expert in that area in a year and in three years a national phenomenon and in five years a global phenomenon.”
The above formula can be downgraded a level lower in that if you spend 30min on something you are not really good at, in a year you will become good at that thing.
I say this to debunk your thought should you be thinking to yourself that you are not good at anything, which is a lie, by the way, you probably just don’t appreciate what it is that you are good at. Every human on earth has got at least ONE THING they are good at, know it and own it.
So, I started by saying that your entanglement with perfection is shifting your focus away from what is possible and important i.e excellence and to achieve excellence in your area of choice, you’ve got to apply the formula and by so doing you can reach the height that you envisioned for yourself.
Please share with me in the comments one or two things that you will become excellent at this year. I will be reading and I will hold you accountable if you allow me.
As for me, one of the things I want to be excellent at is my writing skills which is why I am dedicated to blogging at least twice or three times a week. In addition to that, I ensure I write a minimum of 500 words per day either as a way of content creation or personal journaling.
I’ll close with the quote by Aristotle
11 thoughts on “Are you in an entanglement with perfection?”
I enjoyed reading this.
I want to be excellent at copywriting and I have look forward to your response.
Thanks for sharing.
Thank you Chi for reading and sharing. It’s great that you have something you want to be good at. So next step is to start doing it every day for a minimum period. And for copywriting it’s one major skill that we all have to work on isn’t it. So you can also look at other peoples copies and use them as a guide to adapt yours. The more you do this, the better you get at it. I am rooting for you and wishing you all the very best at becoming an excellent copywriter.
Thank you for this Energetic EJ.
I like the last part of that Aristotle’s quote. Choice, not chance determines your destiny.
One thing I want to be excellent at is reading books. My goal is to read 24 books this year outside academics. I’ve got an accountability partner already and I will achieve it.
Fantastic Daniel! I love that you have decided and didn’t stop there but have put measures in place to ensure you achieve your goals. I am rooting for you. I have a similar goal to read more this year. Let’s read our way into leadership, shall we? Thanks for reading and contributing.
Flawsome, this is amazing.
This opened me up, and I have overtime sagged into the self defeating ritual because of wanting to get validations from people. The people pleasing thing.
Thanks so much.
Grateful for this piece.
Dear Faith, I hear you loud and clear on sagging into self-defeating rituals and expecting validation from people. Can I shock you? It is not a one time battle! It is something we have to keep an eye on as we evolve. Because for every level we elevate into, we tend to slip into this mode, and that is why self-awareness is key.
Something I found recently that could help is when you start to note those feelings. Take a pause, pick up your pen and journal and start to describe how you feel, but more importantly, ask yourself investigating questions until you spot the source of the feeling. That way, you can nip it in the bud and kill that thought and feeling.
I wish you all the best on your growth journey. Keep winning ma’am.
Good morning The Energetic EJ.
Thank you for the article.
What will I do to be able to discover what am good at I know am good at something but I don’t know that thing yet.
Pls I need your help.
Good morning Wisdom James, thanks for reading and writing back. I salute your courage to share this with me and I don’t take it for granted. I can only share from my experience and I hope that what I share with you will help you take the next step at the least.
From my experience, I discovered what I am good at by doing the things I love to do or things that are delegated to me by those I work for or work with. So for instance, it was when I attempted to create visual content that I realize that I love to be in front of the camera. And while doing that over time, I also found that I was good at presenting. Because not everyone who likes to be in front of the camera is good at presentation but it can be learned and that is the sweetest part.
However, when you are good at a skill or thing, you will also get feedback from different sources that speak to that thing. So what are people around you complimenting you for? What is/are those things that you do so easily that others wonder at how you can achieve them? Is it the way you connect with people? Is it the way you explain/teach things to others? Is it the way you make people feel? Is it the way you listen to understand? Is it the way you write, talk, work etc, I mean it could be anything. Just pay close attention to what people compliment you for and that can lead you to discover what you are good at.
And another tool that can surely help you see is when you take personality tests. And you can start by visiting https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test to take the test. It will give you an overview of your personality, what you are good at, likely careers that suit your personality and so much more.
I am rooting for you and hope that you found my answer helpful. Thanks again for reading and contributing.
Thank you very much The Energetic EJ.
Thanks for sharing, EJ. This piece speaks to me on several conscious and uncounscious levels. It’s been some struggle but I am consciously working through them.
You are amazing. Thank you.
Awww, thank you so much, Asain Brown, I am glad this resonated with you. I pray that you gather the strength to work through all you need to work through and come out on the other side refined. God bless you for reading and contributing.