Toxic Goal #1 - "I want to be perfect"

Sorry about the busy hands. It is so hard to be perfect. Whatever we mean by perfect.

I want to be perfect. So let's look at perfection...

5 + 2 = 7, 3 + 3 = 6, 2 + 2 = ?

If you answered 100 tough mathematical questions like these and they were all correct, you will score 100%.

Yes, a perfect score - but here we're talking about objective criteria. If you're a perfectionist, excellent - give yourself a gold star.

So perfection and perfectionism do exist - my apologies, a slip of the tongue in the video - yes, perfection exists with this form of objective criteria.

'The limits of my language are the limits of my world.' Ludwig Wittgenstein.

So, have you ever met the perfect speaker?

The perfect girlfriend/boyfriend? Have you ever driven the perfect car?

I will suggest not, because now we're talking about subjective criteria and your aim to be perfect is impossible.

We live in a semantic world where marketers tell us you need the perfect partner, the perfect house and the perfect children.

If that isn't you, then you'd better up your game.

But what if you have a wonderful partner, a wonderful house and wonderful children? There isn't anything to do other than enjoy life and work on some other projects.

Objectivity is totally subjective. Have you ever been a judge at a speech contest? Have you ever noticed that even with objective criteria, everybody applies them subjectivity? We all have a different lens on life.

If your aim as a speaker is to be perfect, what are your criteria for this?

When you have spent your life working that out, you suddenly realise that to be 'perfect' suggests that you can mind read the audience's subjective criteria for perfection too. I suspect that you will be disappointed when you don't receive the approbation your 'perfection' deserves.

Effectively, you're trying to achieve the impossible dream. If you want to be a good speaker, an increasingly effective speaker, an excellent speaker, then we can agree on outline objective criteria for this.

Ticking boxes on technique are fairly easy. Perfection is impossible because your subjective criteria for perfection will never be accepted.

Your language and the story that you tell yourself is all important. If you believe in perfection with subjective criteria, you're heading for a frustrating future. Be prepared to lose your remaining friends and get comfortable with your lonely life ahead.  

If you want to aim to be the best that you can be then welcome to consistent achievement.

You'll have lots of friends and lots of opportunities to excel in your field. You'll attract clients like a magnet.

It's hard to resist somebody who is giving it 100%, demonstrating humility and keeping it real.

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