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How NOT to be perfect - and be OK with that

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

Do you have days like that? Where everything that CAN go wrong, does indeed go wrong?

OK. Just me then.

Days when I start with a computer that doesn't work, where the Zoom connection somehow decides not to produce sound, where the screen is frozen, where the bandwidth is low. Where I end up using the actual te-le-pho-ne (remember them?) to call my clients.

To be followed by receiving a warning for a webinar I've signed up to - which I thought was tomorrow - only to find myself turn up on the call 30 minutes EARLY. (Yep, not only the date, but the time wrong as well).

Anyway. Once upon a time it would seriously faze me. I would get frustrated, irritated. Call myself all sorts of names. None of them nice.

You see, like a lot of the people I talk to I used to have this - what 'Uncaged' author Glennon Doyle calls - 'invisible ghost'.

This invisible ghost was called Perfection.

She was slim, smart, successful, financially comfortable, fit, witty, artistic, creative, clever.

She would never argue or be grumpy. Her work life would run like clockwork. Her kitchen tiles and rest of her house would somehow, magically, always be clean and tidy. And her broadband would NEVER EVER go down.

Did you see that list?

Did you read ANYWHERE in that list the word HAPPY?

No, me neither.

So, I am going to say it.

It turns out THERE IS NO SUCH GHOST. There is no Little MIss Perfect. There is no role model to live up to. No perfect woman. No perfect you.



I thought I'd let that sink in. It took me a while too.

We're all just people, trying to do the best with what we've got. In the time given to us.

Perfection, my friends, doesn't exist.

In a perfect world my broadband wouldn't go down. In a perfect world my kitchen tiles would be (effortlessly) spotless. In a perfect world I would actually turn up to things - you know - on the ACTUAL day and hour.

But in my world, the best I can do sometimes is being prepared for a number of things that could potentially go wrong. And apply the smidgens of wisdom I've gained over the years to shrug my shoulders, laugh at myself and try again.

Because accepting what is and accepting myself for who I am is key to happiness.

I am who I am. You are who you are.

And that ghost is what it is. A ghost. An apparition. Something that society, the media, the world around you, your loved ones and yes, you, have made you believe.

Whilst, actually, there is no such thing.

That's what I think, anyway. Especially on days like these.


Tineke Tammes is an ICF credentialed Career Coach, who supports professional women in making successful transitions to careers of Freedom, Flexibility and Fulfilment! Besides that she is also a lifelong feminist, part-time portrait artist, never-only-read-one-book-at-any-time reader, and obsessive doodler. Oh, and she knows a bit about change management too.

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