Sarah Fretwell

Yoga, Movement, Mobility, Wellness

On perfection

MindSarah FretwellComment

Here's the thing with perfection: it's not real. 

The rise of social media makes it a challenge not to compare yourselves to others on the glossy feeds of Instagram every so often, but you don't see the mess in the background. You don't see the edits, the fails, the re-takes, the slip-ups, the primping and preening. All you see is the perfect end result. Beautifully gleaming, shining, lit up by that oh-so-pristine white background that makes you wonder how on earth someone can have such a clean home. 

Perfection lures you in because it poses as the better version of you. The prettier version, the more talented version, the tidier version, the more stylish version, the more flexible version, the stronger version, the more intelligent version, the wealthier version, of you. 

And here's the thing. Seeking perfection holds you back from your true potential, because when you're so caught up in trying to be perfect at something, you focus too much on the final result and not the journey, on the things you're lacking rather than the things that make you unique, real and #authentic. 

Even our faces and bodies aren't perfect. We're all asymmetrical, and if you were shown a mathematically perfect face, chances are it wouldn't look that attractive at all. I've learnt that perfection is not something to strive for. I'm far from perfect myself - I'm clumsy, I'm not a perfect yoga teacher, I mess up. I mix up my lefts and my rights. A LOT. I am terrible with names and unless I know my student fairly well, or have made a mental note of some attribute to link the name with, there's no chance I've remembered it after the first class - I'm sorry!

I paint and draw some things that I'm happy with, and some things that I could tear up and throw in the bin. I'm fairly flexible, but I can't do press-to-handstand or splits on my right side, yet. My right side is waaaay tighter than my left. One of my nostrils that's slightly smaller than the other (anyone else have this?) and one of my eyebrows is weirdly slightly higher up, but no one could tell, apart from myself. I could go on.....


Sometimes we are our own worst critics, when we should be our own biggest supporters. So many people out there are striving to be the perfect version of themselves, but along the way, they're losing the very things that make them unique, even beautiful, to others. 

Letting go of perfect is so exhilarating and freeing. You start to just not care so much about that eyebrow that's a little too high up, or that handstand press that just refuses to come into your practice easily. You start to create just for the sake of creating rather than getting caught up in those exhausting minute details with every attempt. 

And let me tell you something, it's so much less tiring. All that wasted energy on striving for perfection, when you could be embracing the wonderful flaws in something. I'm not saying to deliberately fuck-up whatever you're working on, I'm just saying that if we all learnt to let go of perfect a little more, we'd all feel so much more relieved. 

So let's all let go a little bit, enjoy what we're doing and appreciate the journey a little more - however messy, rocky or imperfect it may be. For that is way, way more interesting.