Are you choosing perfection or reality? Find out what your choice can mean for your heart and soul

Published by Ali Gordon-Creed on

You do you.

Everywhere we look there is advice about being true to yourself and living purposefully. Unfortunately, this advice is often paired with, or closely followed by, a very unrealistic image or story carefully crafted for social media.

Confusing? Very. But also, potentially damaging in terms of the way we ‘feed’ our soul and self-esteem.

Our lifestyle often fails to give us enough permission for self-affirmation. We are heavily conditioned to strive for perfection, when, in fact, “I am ok” or “I am enough” are perfectly acceptable standards to aim for. I like to think of our choices when we choose our mindset as being two doors.

Through Door 1 we have ‘I wish to be perfect, admired, liked by many’. Door 2 offers us ‘I wish to be real and be loved for who I am’.

Which door would you choose?

Of course, there’s no right answer, we are all unique. However, in my opinion, there is an answer that will deliver higher self-esteem.

Door 1 is about adulation, as opposed to love. It might be more about public displays of admiration – think ‘likes’ on social media. It’s therefore what I would consider to be ‘empty calories’ when it comes to feeding our soul or making our heart sing. People who choose this might find they burn out early or cannot recreate it when circumstances (such as age) change.

Door 2 involves deeper emotions and more genuine love, from both the giver and receiver. Whereas admiration can come from afar and possibly from strangers, this love is about connection, shared values and a knowledge of you as an individual. Because this is achieved from a position of truth and purpose, it feels more valuable and doesn’t create a false sense of achievement. It feeds your heart and soul.

How do you make your choice?

Of course, we don’t have to stick with our first choice, we can reverse and choose the other door. If your instinct is to choose Door 1, give some thought to why. Is it a timing thing? Admiration can come more quickly, especially if it is based on a snapshot of our life, as opposed to ‘warts and all’. Again, social media is to blame here, as it makes it so easy to convey a life of perfection, happiness and abundance. In reality, things may be very different.

Door 2 might take longer to achieve but is likely to be far more rewarding – and longer lasting. Think of our common view of perfection – the physical body is beautiful but does change as we age, requiring us to alter what we see as beautiful. That is, of course, unless you consider beauty to run deeper than looks. In this case, people’s authenticity and values seldom change, perhaps other than to become reinforced more as they experience life. If you consider this to be true perfection, you are likely to find it and never lose it. That’s the beauty of Door 2.

I’d like to finish with an example of perseverance leading to a rewarding, admirable and memorable life. Henry Ford’s greatest achievement could be said to be the invention of the Model T. That first, and now iconic, car. The thing that put the world in motion. What an achievement. But wait, why is it called the Model T? In fact, Henry worked through the alphabet as he tried and tested his ideas. He got as far as T. Doesn’t that just show the benefit of taking a longer-term view?

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