The Myth About Perfect

The Myth About Perfect

By Marilee Jones

If the hallmark of the Boomers generation is the focus on ‘me’, and the hallmark of Gen X is the need to control their own lives, then the hallmark of the Millennials is the need to be perfect.  Millennials have been the most protected, experienced, exposed, pressured generation in history and few of them feel that they’re good enough.  We adults have handed them a template of behavior by which they will know they are OK.  They are to: always make good grades; avoid drugs, alcohol and sex because all are dangerous now; take chances and show initiative but never fail because failure is the kiss of death; develop a ‘passion’ to appeal to college admissions officers; keep smiling; and love us no matter what.

Obviously, this is not as nature had intended and many young people are hurting from being made to feel ‘less than’ because they don’t fit the pattern.  In this culture based on bold action, what happens to the dreamers?  The visionaries?  The healers?  The thinkers?  The artists?  The hermits? The loners?  Everyone has unique DNA with unique talents and desires.  People are meant to be different from one another and the culture needs all of us.

There is no perfect.  Perfectionism is a disease, an addiction to be avoided at all costs.  Growth and ultimate success lies in the imperfection of failure and the resilience that develops as a result.

If your child is a perfectionist, begin to consciously celebrate imperfection within your family.  Offer compassion instead of judgment, express humor instead of anger.  Remember your many past imperfections and how they all worked out for you in the end and when you have that teachable moment, tell your child about them.  Through your own acceptance you’ll let them know that it’s OK and safe for them to be themselves in the world.  And the world will be grateful for this.

Less Stress, More Success

"Her book has added to her reputation as a kind of guru of the movement to tame the college admissions frenzy.”
New York Times
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Our book group just read your book and it sparked more conversation than we’ve had in the seven years we’ve been reading together. Being successful professionals with busy lives and even busier children, we’re all trying to figure out how to find the time to just stop and enjoy our lives amidst so much pressure. Some of us find ourselves quoting you to our husbands and kids now, so you are our hero. ;-)
Sophia N. and Nancy R.

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