As I listen to and watch Pink’s music video “F**kin’ Perfect” I feel the music and the words.
…If you ever feel like you are nothing, you are perfect to me. There is a certain sense of soothing I feel when I am reminded of this. In those moments of feeling not good enough, or not so perfect, it sure is good to be told that I am. Perfect, that is.
There is a part of me who also releases the very idea of perfection. Expecting myself or others to be perfect is draining, and at best it leaves me feeling disappointed in myself or others.
“You are perfect.” is therefore, a dual edged sword. Perfection can make me feel good, and then again, not so much.
The first time I watched Pink’s video, I cried. What I later reflected on was that the video so beautifully portrayed the emotions I’ve felt about “not being good enough” and it immediately triggered those feelings. It was easy to resonate with that little girl. Hearing Pink sing, “You are perfect” actually translated to me, “Patty, you are good enough.”
So, yes in this respect…. I am perfect.( I am good enough) Hearing and knowing this makes me feel good.
I recognized the other edge of the perfection sword when I was giving my second speech at the Toastmasters meeting.
Having barely practiced the speech I was about to give I found myself thinking that maybe it would have been a good idea to have practiced more. “ What if I mess up?”
The reality was, that I hadn’t practiced, and so as I got up to the podium I took a deep breath.
Silently I thought, “ I give up, I’m NOT perfect and this speech doesn’t have to be.”
I felt an ease within my body as I released this need for perfection and my “should have, could have” practiced more judgment. In that moment it allowed me to get out of my head and actually see the audience. It allowed me to be present, speak slowly, and get my point across, but it also gave me the permission to screw it up. It allowed me to just speak and be “imperfect me”. There was such an ease and flow in that.
The audience loved the speech, and I had fun giving it. I actually won blue a ribbon for best speech that night!
Of course that night when I came home I reflected more about perfection and public speaking, and I was talking with a good friend of mine about it. What is behind my own desire to make my speech perfect? I realize that it is simply a fear of not being good enough.
I don’t think perfectionism is necessarily a bad thing. I do take pride in being the best that I can be at something. There is however a fine line where perfectionism can become paralyzing. I see so clearly how fear of not being good enough and perfectionism go hand in hand, especially in the area of public speaking. I want to explore this more.
If more people got in touch with their own fears of not being good enough and their beliefs around their own perfection, I can only wonder how this would affect the statistics about the fear of public speaking?
As I understand it now, the fear of public speaking is now ranked higher than the fear of death! Where do you stand on this topic?
As I write this blog, I realize that I now have a topic for my next 5-7 minute speech with the Toastmasters. “I Am Perfect. Not really. Perfectionism and the Fear of Public Speaking.”
I’ll see what unfolds.
Pink heart image: Keerati / FreeDigitalPhotos.net