My parents have lived all over the world, and for a time, they lived in Azerbaijan, the former Soviet republic. While they lived there, they purchased a number of Persian carpets (Azerbaijan borders Iran), which decorate their house now. One day while I was admiring one of their rugs, my father walked over and said, “You know, the Persian carpetmakers have a tradition: it can take years to weave the details into these rugs, but they always make one intentional mistake as they work. The reason is they believe only Allah is perfect, and therefore only Allah has the right to create perfectly.”
I love this, and thought how freeing it would be if we believed this about not just rugs, but our lives. What if it was downright heretical to expect perfection out of ourselves? What if we believed that perfection was the purview of gods, not humans?
I explore this question today on the Make Light Show. Join me as I discuss how to let go of perfectionism, the difference between perfectionism and healthy striving, and how to get happy now.
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Make Light Episode 9 — on Self-Care
- Two great books by Brené Brown that touch on perfectionism: The Gifts of Imperfection and Daring Greatly
- Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset
- Shawn Achor’s fantastic TED talk, The Happy Secret to Better Work
Karen Walrond is a leadership consultant, speaker, bestselling author and award-winning photographer, whose work is all about leadership, self-determination and making light. You can learn more about her at KarenWalrond.com.