Letting go of Perfectionism: See the Future as Positive
The other day when I was doing on workshop on the dreaming process, I was approached by an architect who had had a dream in which he saw how to build a magnificent temple based upon the design of a particular type of leaf in nature. He was truly inspired and uplifted when he shared the dream with me. When I asked him about whether or not he had put in a proposal for the temple to be built, he said that he was reluctant because he didn’t feel it or he was good enough for what was being asked.
This is probably the most common issue that exists in the world today that nothing you ever do or create is good enough. It usually starts at a young age but mostly in school. In most families in the world when a child makes a score of 90%, the parents are wondering why the grade was not 100%. They focus on the 10% that was wrong or missing rather than the 90% that was positive. It is an obsession on the negative to try to make the child capable enough so that their future isn’t in poverty or second class work. I usually meet those children in my dream meetings when they are 30 or 40 years old and keep having the recurring dream of failing a test or having to take the same test over and over again.
Perfectionism is easy to change, but it is a worldwide pattern that sustains itself from one generation to another and spawns leaders who believe they are gods of their families, business, towns or nations. Perfectionism sees the distant future as extremely negative, believes that mistakes make your future even worse, and that the goal of life is to be in constant state of eliminating negatives. When you use negative patterns that perfectionism engenders, it is because you see the possibility of a future of poverty and second class work. The way to not be in poverty is to work really hard to be perfect in what others expect without making any mistakes. Life is about elimination of the negative. When you parent or manage in this manner, everyone around you feels that they are never good enough just like the architect. The focus is always on the negative so you stay stuck in the negative. You have to force yourself to work hard rather than hard work being a flow of constant energy.
The switch to a new pattern is relatively easy. It takes a shift in belief. The belief is that when you view the future as positive and full of abundance, then you can work much harder and get much better results. The shift is believing that when you point out the positives, you can work harder and longer and more easily. Most parents and cultures do not believe this, but the research bares it out. It is not counter-intuitive. It is extremely rational. When you focus on a negative, it causes your body and mind to tense up and stress. Then it is harder to work. When the focus is on positive future and you acknowledge the positive in the present and past, then your body and mind relax. You can sustain effort for much longer and more easily.
In our current world, where the future is about eliminating a negative future, we tend to get a succession of leaders who are really good at finding fault and pointing a negative finger at others as if that were a virtue. You are seen as strong if you are good at eliminating others. In some cultures the fathers take that role as if they are taking the place of God in the family. They are all-powerful telling everyone what is wrong with them all the time and expecting respect every step of the way. The children grow very distant from their fathers.
When you want to change the culture around you or your internal culture, there are two things you must do. First you have to change the thinking about your future from impoverished and negative to one that is extremely rich and positive. Second you change your focus on the negative you see in people and in yourself to seeing the positive. It is such an easy formula. So why do more people not do it?
The answer lies in the fear of the all-powerful leaders. When you see your father or boss or government leader as all-powerful who holds the power of exclusion, then you get into doing the same internally which is to eliminating any mistakes which is exactly what the leaders want you to do because when there are few mistakes, they get more power and recognition. It is a pretty vicious circle. To change it you can just believe that your true self and your positive energy is more powerful than them. This is the big key.
Shift the belief so that you believe that your positive energy is more powerful than the most negative of leaders. It is easy to do. All the architect needs to do is believe in his positive energy, relate to it, and see the temple built.