Letting Go of the Need to be Perfect

A few years ago I was speaking to an older woman about art. She shared with me, “I would have loved to be creative without having to be perfect.” This made me stop in my tracks.

We continued the conversation about her experience of art classes at school; not being able to draw the perfect straight line like the teachers or other kids, or getting into trouble for not getting it right etc. She had held onto this in her body and it affected her to this day.

Many of us have had experiences like this; it may not have been in the art classroom, as perfection, hurt and comparison can play out in many areas of our life.

It may have been for colouring outside the line, but what happens if you just love yellow on white paper so much that you can’t help but want to share how awesome it looks, you can’t and don’t want to contain it to the lines, you want to share your love and joy of that colour? What happens if you want to colour in in every direction possible, – up, down, left, right, front to back, back to front, only to be told you can’t, it’s ‘not right’?

Who says it’s not right?

Just because we may like something one way, that doesn’t mean it’s true for all. It’s a bit like telling someone they can’t wear two colours together because you don’t like it, like black and navy blue, yet I love wearing them together.

Now don’t get me wrong; when teaching an art lesson, there are things to be learnt. We can still teach lessons following the experiences and outcomes we have to as part of the curriculum, alongside allowing people the freedom to express themselves and enjoy what they make.

One of the most beautiful things to do is allow children to express the same topic in the way they feel to and be blessed by and enjoy each expression.

I have learnt much from children and teenagers I teach over the years; they come up with some incredible things that I often would never think of and I say “Wow, I love that! Can I use that in another lesson?”

Sometimes what I see, because we are so prone to telling children and people what to do, is that kids can’t think for themselves; now we know this is not true – what I mean is that when asked to produce their own work, come up with ideas, not be shown by the teacher what to do step by step – many children really struggle with this. This can play out at home too, where children don’t know what to do with themselves, as in games to play or how to enjoy being on their own. When I was a child this was not the case, so something over the years has changed.

What I have also learnt from observing and talking to other people, adults and children alike, and from my own experience, is that it is important to allow people to express themselves and have fun, not try to control them, make things look perfect or good to go on a wall. Sometimes kids end up hating a subject because of this or as above cannot think for themselves, or don’t know what they like and don’t like.

I have seen kids come into first year at high school terrified of making a mistake, too scared to have fun, or very young kids in primary school, really anxious about messing up, ready to bin something for the tiniest of mistakes. How does this then equate into everyday life when we make mistakes as we go about our day? Do we have a self-barrage of really critical thoughts, attacking ourselves from the inside out to give up?

This plays out in kids from a very, very, young age all the way through to our adult life.

We need to be aware of the impact of our words and actions, our movements you could call them, how everything we do and say affects people, including ourselves. It is either healing or harming – there is no in-between. And the fact that when we hold onto things, we hold onto them in our body and they can stay with us for years or lifetimes, ill-affect our health and or cloud our picture of other situations or people. It’s not worth holding onto things – it’s like carrying lots of heavy invisible baggage around that weighs us down. What would it feel like to let go of all of this?

For me the joy in teaching is first and foremost about building a relationship with the kids, having fun, then the subject.

This is what lasts with the kids –the connection and relationship we build with them first.

By Anonymous

Related Reading:
Exposing the False Perception of a Perfect Life
“Expression is Everything” – How I Feel About Myself, the World and Other People
A ‘Perfect’ Life

541 thoughts on “Letting Go of the Need to be Perfect

  1. “For me the joy in teaching is first and foremost about building a relationship with the kids, having fun, then the subject.” Wow – fortunate children indeed. For so many teachers it is the other way round – and fun often comes way down the list. But if we meet each other deeply and are having fun we can learn so much easier! Makes absolute sense.

  2. “We need to be aware of the impact of our words and actions, our movements you could call them, how everything we do and say affects people, including ourselves. It is either healing or harming – there is no in-between.” So true Anonymous, yet how many of us live with this knowing?

  3. Needing to be perfect is such a drain, we can spend our lives in pursuit of a perfect ideal only to eventually get to destination nowhere, only to look back on the harm and complete waste of time such an ideal has had.

  4. Nothing in nature is perfect and yet we as humans expect and seek perfection – how pointless is all the effort we put into seeking something that doesn’t even exist?!

  5. There is little fun and joy in controlling others rather we seek to allay our own fears and need for certainty.

  6. “I have seen kids come into first year at high school terrified of making a mistake, too scared to have fun, or very young kids in primary school, really anxious about messing up, ready to bin something for the tiniest of mistakes.” It’s horrible to see and hear this, its like we’ve chosen as a society to not value people who grow, develop and don’t always get things right. It’s a great reminder to look at how we raise our children.

  7. No perfection required, only the simplicity of living responsibility, but we do not like letting go of those hardcore reasons to bash ourselves, yet with the self bashing we are in the same stew as we are with the perfection. Time to let go and step up to more.

  8. Our ideas about right and wrong can develop into the most rigid boundaries that cage us in and prevent us exploring further and learning from mistakes.

  9. It begs the questions as to who sets these standards in the first place? Do they arise from a drive to better our selves in the outside world at the expense of our natural inner evolution?

  10. I loved colouring inside the lines as a child, and looking back at it now I understand how much I satisfaction I got from that, and so much else that is really exposing of what was going on — the need to be perfect and recognised and affirmed, to belong, to be the best, for “my” work to be admired, to feel safe within the security of those boundaries. I realise it wasn’t “my” work but the work of a force of energy coming through me that wants me to conform and keep quiet and be “good”. This has resulted in an anxious tense body and a lack of confidence all my life.

  11. Feeling into school it is simple to fully connect to the teachers who made school about connection first and how they made such a difference in how we understood what was being presented.

  12. Trying to be perfect takes so much energy. It’s like trying to stay in control. What would happen if we let go of the control? Would we make a mess? Or would we allow the natural flow of life that we could deeply surrender to?

  13. Just imagine having a teacher who just wants you to express all that you already are without perfection! Awesome, wish you had been my teacher, though we can all present this to the world in our daily lives.

  14. I have learnt much from children and teenagers I teach over the years; they come up with some incredible things that I often would never think of and I say “Wow, I love that! Can I use that in another lesson?” children have access to the same wisdom as everyone else and most often have not had time to learn to disconnect from them and so this is to be embraced and honoured rather than educated against.

  15. The teachers I have met recently have been so stressed out, especially now in exam time, that teaching becomes a box ticking exercise rather than about connecting to the students. The whole education system is not designed to support individuals to develop their own learning method, so its feel like we need to go back to basics.

  16. We look at art as the “expressive” subject at school, we see it as the subject where children can go in and be themselves… but in reality it’s just another classroom made out of walls.

  17. Sometimes you can have a strong urge to be perfect but as I have discovered underneath that is a strong urge to be in control. In control so you have no space or room to feel the hurts that are deeply buried. When healing your hurts the control, protection and perfection all starts to fall away.

  18. ‘For me the joy in teaching is first and foremost about building a relationship with the kids, having fun, then the subject.’ – this seems so simple, obvious even, yet, right now, I feel you would definitely be in the minority in terms of this openly loving and fun approach to teaching, Anonymous.

  19. Anonymous, this feels so important for all of us; ‘Letting Go of the Need to be Perfect’. I can feel the tension that this need to be perfect creates in the body. There can be a drive and a push and lack of joy with trying to get it ‘right’ and trying to get it perfect. Trying to be perfect and get it ‘right’ is not natural for us and does not allow for learning and evolution.

  20. Education has always been rife with educational excellence. But, in the end, it is all about the paper chase stating you have completed something or a box-ticking exercise of; been there done that.

  21. Colouring inside the lines as a representation of how I learned to be in life in my desperate search for recognition, acceptance… love, was a futile and ill-directed attempt to find what I always carried with me. Something I am coming to know now as the very natural, innate sense of belonging and being absolutely ‘in place’ that I have when I am aware of and connected to my body and the infinite depth of relationship available here, with the all that is life.

  22. We are all so different in our expression but instead of accepting that, we are more comfortable when things are done OUR way. This can create conflict for teachers and presenters who do not understand that everybody learns in different ways so a wide variety of methods is essential and most schools do not have the time or the resources for that.

  23. In truth we never really make mistakes – they are lifes lessons to support us to grow and evolve… and I find my greatest lessons always bring so much understanding and wisdom.

  24. “And the fact that when we hold onto things, we hold onto them in our body and they can stay with us for years or lifetimes, ill-affect our health and or cloud our picture of other situations or people.” – This is a brilliant observation that I feel I missed after reading it the first time because I am only now ready to accept what it has to offer. Lately, whenever I have held onto something that I felt hurt by another, or have held onto something I felt to say and kept it inside without expressing it, this has felt like an unbearable tension in my body that has actually lead to behaviours that are not supportive to me and instead numbed the tension that was my body communicating to me what I was actually doing to it. Letting go of these things through allowing ourselves to read the situation fully and express openly without concern of reactions from another are key ways to avoid the ill-effects mentioned in the quote above.

  25. ‘One of the most beautiful things to do is allow children to express the same topic in the way they feel to and be blessed by and enjoy each expression’. I love this line, it allows children space without imposing our pictures of how it show be.

  26. Oh how different my life would have been had I not allowed the impositions of ‘how I thought I should be’ to enter and control me through my mind!

    I can see how most of us go to school innocent and exuberant only to discover that we feel we are being asked to shut much of our incredibleness down to fit into an ordered situation and I see how this can cause a freezing up where we stop our natural wisdom and intelligence from coming through.

    To know we are loved and we are amazing before we do anything just so, is a great place to start an education. I know this would free people to stay with their exuberance for life and for sharing themselves and allow them to use and develop their own unique qualities so that when they enter the work force they are bringing all of who they are to what they do in a dynamic and very alive way instead of a person who knows how to keep themselves under wraps and bring mainly just the skills learned or memorized.

  27. Connection and relationship are the most important, longest-lasting things we can have with ourselves, each other and so significantly all the children we live, meet and work with.

  28. Children have such a beautiful way of expressing with honesty whether through drawing or words. Sometimes they can be embarrassing to adults, and be curbed to be politically correct, but they mean no offence, they are expressing what they see. It is far better to allow everyone their true expression.

  29. It can be easy to overlook the some of the longer lasting effects of what we have experienced and chosen in life when we think the time has passed, even though they remain in our body for us to learn from.

    1. I agree Carmel… and the trying is hard work and exhausting as well. Our bodies give a huge sigh of relief when we stop all the trying and let go of needing to be perfect.

  30. I am currently writing assignments for a university course that I am doing and it can be so easy to slip into wanting to deliver something that is ‘perfect’. Perfectionist comes from a lack of self worth and is totally destructive.

    1. I agree, Elizabeth, it can be crippling to measure ourselves against others or by academic intelligence markers.

  31. Young children have so much to teach us if we are willing to listen and learn from them, the problem is many adults are so stuck in the belief that kids are to be ‘seen but not heard’. So undermining of great wisdom.

  32. The strive for perfection will never allow for a true settlement within oneself, it is a constant forward movement that pulls us away from ourselves instead allowing us to settle within and deepen our connection to ourselves.

  33. One of the most disempowering and reducing things we can think about ourselves is that it is not ok to make mistakes. I have lived most of my life on tender hooks for fear of being shown to be wrong at any given moment, and it is so freeing to finally allow myself to be a student of life, who is gradually reclaiming her connection to the deep inner wisdom we all have within.

    1. Really accepting our mistakes as a process of learning and refining, as we do those of a child learning to walk, is the start of an honouring relationship with ourselves (this is changing everything for me).

      1. You certainly are on a roll here, Nicola. What you have SO playfully pointed out is so true!

  34. Your blog reminded me that I was always told you can’t wear red and orange or orange and pink together but I always enjoy seeing people wearing this cheerful and colourful combination.

    1. Nature doesn’t seem to pander to such rules as this colour can’t go with that one, or that it is possible to be too bright. Every part just expresses all that it is wherever it is, and what a gorgeous reflection this provides.

  35. The most essential thing we can learn in life is how to love our selves and each other. Perfecting our academic skills is a rather inappropriate basis upon which to build loving relationships that will serve us for the rest of our lives, particularly as many of the things learnt in school only serve us for that period of time.

  36. What I am finding is with the need to be perfect then I don’t allow myself the space as a Student to grow, develop and take steps forward. The more I let go of perfection the grander I become.

  37. I too have grown up around thinking I needed to be perfect and mistakes were perceived as failures and then I’d have this internal destructive unloving dialogue with myself – truly unsupportive.

    It’s only in the last few years I realised that imperfections were just the perfect thing I needed for my evolution and given what I can handle at that time and in that moment.

  38. ‘This is what lasts with the kids –the connection and relationship we build with them first.’ – ultimately this is what lasts with us all – the quality of our relationships with each other.

    1. This is the bedrock of living in full. Developing a deeply caring relationships with oneself is our No 1 job and it is only from that that we are able to develop deeply caring relationships with all others – the most important lesson in life we can ever learn.

  39. ‘Just because we may like something one way, that doesn’t mean it’s true for all.’ – this feels particularly relevant in terms of how we welcome people from other countries and cultures into our own country where our customs may be very different. Just because something isn’t important to us, doesn’t mean that it isn’t a treasured detail for someone else and vice versa.

  40. It is true, when you are scared to make mistakes, i.e. want to be perfect, we are robbed from the joy we otherwise naturally would be living.

  41. What if perfection does not exist in our world of creation, as to me is a lived reality, why then tend we to strive for it? To me it is only a distraction to take us away from what is really needed, that is to complete things and to move on to the next. Hanging on to make things perfect does not bring us anywhere, it only delay’s the completion and keeps us stuck in where we are.

    1. It just came to me that this seeking of perfection is a deviation off and away from the main road. The outplay of this is that if we get caught up in striving for perfection that can sidetrack us so much, we never get back on to the way to where we were heading – back to an ease and joy of expression of who we are in full. Ultimately the quality of life we end up enjoying depends on which way we choose each time we are faced with a fork in the road.

  42. Anonymous, this feels key; ‘alongside allowing people the freedom to express themselves and enjoy what they make.’ If we control children and the outcome of what they should be making then this limits their natural expression and the joy that comes from this.

  43. There’s an art to life, where everyday is an experiment and we play, learn and celebrate what we’re shown. There’s no room for perfectionism in this frame, for when we accept everything’s here for us to learn we realise our life’s masterpiece.

  44. The harm done by words is actually horrific and so long term as we don’t just forget things especially things that hurt us.

  45. It so true you can’t have perfection because we have different expressions and love your example of having to stay within the lines. We don’t have to confided ourselves to stay within any lines and restrict who we are. Being all of us and express this in full is the only way.

    1. Indeed Natalie, no lines please as these are not only confining our expressions but to mold us into a way of thinking and living that is measured and controlled.

      1. Yes ‘staying within the lines’ is very symbolic on many levels especially when applied to staying within the lines that society in general has accepted to keep life ticking along in its comfortableness and not questioning the status quo. This reminds me of my mother saying ‘I’m not interested in what (friend’s name’s) parents say they can do. It is what is true for you and not just a matter of following the pack.’ Looking back I can deeply appreciate the support this gave me to remain true to myself (without expectation of perfection) and begin to establish the lines I wanted to choose for my life to follow.

      2. The part that you share about what your mother said shows me once again that we do know, and get told possibly from many angles the true way to take. But still in spite of all the advice and suggestions it is us that makes the ultimate choice, that is to stay with ourselves or not, indeed which line to follow.

  46. ‘Just because we may like something one way, that doesn’t mean it’s true for all.’ – How true. Are we humble enough to truly embody this immutable fact?

  47. We may criticise children for their poor spelling before we find out they are dyslexic and often dyslexic children are highly intelligent. Sometimes children who are weak in one area of schoolwork can excel is something more practical or creative. We all learn in different ways and the current school curriculum and way of teaching is too narrow to allow for that wide variety. Children need to feel inspired to learn, not forced.

  48. How much anxiety is created through the need to be perfect which then intensifies the anxiety… a merry-go-round, going nowhere – a constant seeking of perfection, something that doesn’t actually exist!

  49. Connection is so important… we were all aware at school of the teachers who really loved their job and enjoyed being with you, and those who delivered the same stuff every year without any enthusiasm for the subject or interest in the students.

  50. When we as adults allow children to express themselves in full, we find that we are learning as much from them as they are from us.

    1. That is so true, Janet. Children so often come out with absolute pearls of wisdom. It’s a wise adult who is open to listening to them. It certainly blows the old adage ‘Children should be seen and not heard’ out of the water.

  51. ‘Sometimes what I see, because we are so prone to telling children and people what to do, is that kids can’t think for themselves’ I have experienced this to an extreme when going from having been used to knowing what is required to meet expectations because it is clearly set out to being given more freedom to determine for myself what is required and freezing up, trying to produce something which could meet every possible expectation , which is just not possible, instead of being guided by how I feel. This is still something which can affect me today.

  52. Expression is everything and if we seek to control that expression ultimately we lose that natural joy we hold.

    1. True trying in itself is never in alignment to the flow of the universe. It is the opposite of what we are taught to do, we are constantly told to do our best, try hard etc rather than allowing and connecting.

  53. Wow the right and wrong and need for perfection comes from being taught this from and early age and robs us of our freedom, joy of expression and simply having fun. A beautiful sharing and understanding of who we are and the fun and responsibility we can bring in teaching our children that would change our perceptions both at school and in life onwards expansively honouring for who we are and our expression.

  54. Perfectionism is very stifling – it’s like it imposes an ideal that stops us from appreciating our innate sense of how or what to express and so that innate expression gets suppressed and overridden if we align with the perfection ideal.

    1. I love showing kids how to shake off this need to be perfect, when building Lego they are confused when I say I don’t know what I am building and will just build and see what happens, though end up loving what we build together.

  55. When I was a small child growing up in Persia, I remember my mother explaining to me that every handmade persian carpet had a deliberate flaw in it, because only God is perfect. This stuck with me and is probably the only thing I remember from this period. Perhaps the only thing that was true.

  56. Crippled by perfectionism for so long and acutely aware of how it impedes the joy and natural flow of expression in those I work with, I really appreciate this article and the myths and notions it busts. Thank you. I am coming along to your class!

  57. Anonymous, reading this I can feel what control there can with children telling them to do something a certain way rather allowing their natural expression; ‘Just because we may like something one way, that doesn’t mean it’s true for all. It’s a bit like telling someone they can’t wear two colours together because you don’t like it,’ I remember as a child being told I couldn’t wear pink and red together because they ‘clashed’, I didn’t really understand this at the time but just thought I was wrong for liking these colours together and followed what I was told.

  58. The simple action of purchasing a colour-in book for a child can begin the the conditioning that there is a specific way for colouring to be done. A small contribution in a world that dictates how we are to be to be accepted.

  59. It’s so important not to have expectations of ourselves that we need to be perfect. With that we can be so hard on ourselves for making mistakes (which is very human). It also means that we won’t step outside of our own comfort zones to meet more of who we are, because we are scared of the results if we slip up. Imagine putting expectations on a child when they are learning to walk or feed themselves. We never would if that was the case.

  60. ‘Many of us have had experiences like this; it may not have been in the art classroom, as perfection, hurt and comparison can play out in many areas of our life.’ – it feels like we have made life into one big competition. We compete with each other for jobs, promotions, in sport, even in relationships. With competition comes judgment, comparison, division and separation. This is the complete opposite of how we all, in truth, want to live together, which is in connection with our selves and each other, harmoniously, with integrity and love, supporting and inspiring each other so we can once again live the magnificence of who we truly are, together.

  61. Children learn more when they are supported to be themselves. Teachers who enjoy teaching and love connecting with the children are able to make the subject or class so much more fun and interesting. As a result children also are more able to learn, stay focused and stay interested.

  62. Getting in trouble for reading a book upside down, which the teacher thought could not be done, but after a lot of practice it became easier than reading with the words in an up-side down way rather than the so-called right way up? The teacher was stupefied that I could actually read that way.
    Much of life is like this we see things in an upside down way with no true barometer to what is true! Seeing everything is energy could it be that first the energy we are in is our first barometer to what energy is happening around us!

  63. What a gift you bring to teaching children and allowing them to just have fun and experiment. This is a really lovely way of supporting people to not be perfect and be open to being who they are.

  64. It’s no wonder we have an anxiety epidemic today when so many feel like they cannot measure up to what the world thinks they should be.

  65. A willingness and acceptance of not being perfect is the perfect posture of a forever student of life.

  66. It fascinates me sometimes when someone else clearly has entirely different tastes in something to others, and that you can see a consistency in that. Though my own tastes have certainly changed to a degree as well as I have become more myself.

  67. When you say here about the “rules” about not putting certain colours together it exposes just how crazy that is for us to try and own something as innate and natural as the colour spectrum.

  68. “It’s not worth holding onto things – it’s like carrying lots of heavy invisible baggage around that weighs us down. What would it feel like to let go of all of this?” I’d had something niggling at me today and this has just reminded me; look at what went on, my part in it, and let it go.

  69. I was recently with 5/6 year olds and I was putting Lego out for them to make bridges and one child said “I can’t there are no instructions”, my heart sank. Lego used to just be about a free for all expression now it’s all castles and predetermined buildings – which is a skill but it feels more important to me to allow a child to freely express and gain confidence in their skills rather than setting them up to keep looking outward to check they are doing it right to someone else’s template.

    1. Great example Vanessa and it just shows how we can all forgo our inner wisdom and intuition and instead rely on the outside world to ‘instruct’ us how to live, rather than just feeling for ourselves what we feel is true or best for us at that time.

  70. Yes the joy should be first and foremost. Everything after that will be a sure success. Right now we focus on the learning of subjects and what we call facts, but we miss the ingredient of joy and I think that is why many children during the school years slowly “check out” and do not want to participate in the world any longer.

    1. So true Matts, joy is the most important ingredient to success and to life, and I’d add anything that is absent of joy it is a struggle. Hence why so many people feel that life is a struggle but it doesn’t have to be that way.

    2. Matts I love how you mention success. Often success is based on what an outcome is. But what if success was an enjoyment of the way that you did something? I feel success is a word very much worth exploring further.

  71. The ideals and pictures we have can be so limiting in terms of the possibility of the expanded awareness that is available to us when we tap into the inner connection to what supports us as well as the All. The fact that we are trained from young to fit our expression and imagination into a perfect picture instead of exploring and deepening our inner awareness is a tragedy that hinders many of us throughout our lives.

  72. This is such a great question – ‘Who says it’s not right?’ We need to remind ourselves and the younger generations that our expression has value no matter what it is, and that to measure ourselves according to imposed yard sticks crushes our creativity and the joy we feel by simply being who we truly are.

    1. Embracing and living the fact that we, and what we have to share, has value is a foundation stone that re-writes any history about ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and the need to perform in a certain way to be accepted and acceptable.

  73. Perfection seems to be an excuse to self critique when we don’t meet those impossible standards. Standards are very important, but perfection is not a standard that is workable.

    1. Agreed, I see how this striving for perfection literally kills joy – it’s a horrid vicious cycle.

    2. Great point Ariana and it is also an excuse to critique others which then leads to comparison and putting people down which is not at all supportive, loving or evolving.

  74. How amazing it is to learn as a child that there is no such thing as perfection, but that the most important thing is for them to feel they are enough just being who they are. This is a true blessing for any child.

    1. Totally agree with that Sandra, and when the children get that space the wisdom that can come from their mouths is priceless. Why do we need universities anyways, we could just ask the children what is needed and I suspect we would then have a society built on a whole lot more love that we have at the moment.

    2. It is a blessing, I love reading Sunlight Ink’s book ‘I am Beauty-full Just For Being Me’. When you read it your children you can physically see their bodies drop deeper into themselves so that they let go of the pressure to be different.

  75. Perfection is just a freeze-dried version of Heaven, an internal rich, gorgeous vibrancy and playfulness can never be reached by attempting to perfect our academic skills.

  76. Allowing and supporting children to express their feelings freely is creating a foundation which will assist them with their expression as they journey through life.

    1. It is something that will build foundations within that they can build upon and then inspire the next generation to live.

    2. I agree, I think it can give children the opportunity to get to know themselves better and have more of a handle on dealing with their feelings, emotions and how they then respond to life.

  77. What if we could harness all of the energy we use for trying to be perfect? It would be a new source of clean energy; it would be unexhaustive, except to those producing it!

  78. This sense of trying to be perfect can happen in any environment. I have experienced this at work when I want to get everything done efficiently and perfectly The desire to be efficient and perfect gets in the way of my relationships and connection with others. It also reaps havoc with my body as I go into a great deal of tension and drive to try to get everything done perfectly. It then causes self-doubt and feeds lack of self-worth if I don’t manage to do things in the way I would have liked. It’s very damaging.

  79. As with everything in life, learning should be joyful and fun for children and not a serious matter which causes concern. I was listening to the radio this week and hearing how mental illness is on a steep increase in universities in the UK and can’t help but feel that these issues start much before then, whilst children are still at school. It’s important that we pay close attention to subjects such as this blog as part of a wider conversation as to what changes could be made to support everyone’s natural development as opposed to the current status quo.

    1. Very true, Michael – our current education system as become so focussed on output and results that children have become a commodity. No wonder they dis-engage. My son recently asked me, ‘what is the point in being taught a subject (say legal studies, for example) and asked to consider what we have learnt if the school has no interest in our actual opinion? They are looking for a certain response, which they consider is the way to get the best marks. If you have an alternative, less ‘popular’ opinion, it’s not welcomed or encouraged”.

  80. I have had this experience in the past working in a kitchen when I was told that Coriander could not go in a Mediterranean dish…I thought it was so sexy to be able to personalise a recipe and giving it my own signature by adding whatever I felt like.

  81. I was sitting waiting for an appointment and a woman sat down next to me and we got chatting. She is a teacher with 2 years to go before her retirement and this fact is her carrot that keeps her going. Too be honest she’s so worn down and has given up and I don’t blame her, the way the education system works bludgeons not only the pupil but the teachers too. So much so she felt like a robot just doing what she has been told to do irrespective of the outcome.

    1. I love the appreciation and consideration you show for teachers in your comment, Mary. I have enormous appreciation and respect for the dedication and commitment teachers have in to wanting to support our children at school, to ignite their joy in learning. It’s an absolute travesty that the education system is not set up to support them both in this, rather, it treats everyone as a means to an end.

    2. Such a great point, yes indeed the system bludgeons the teachers as much as it bludgeons the students. A totally loveless system that cares for no one, only for results. It would be so simple to change it.

  82. ‘How does this then equate into everyday life when we make mistakes as we go about our day?’ – it incapacitates us and stops us from expanding, growing, evolving. It’s through our ‘mistakes’ that our greatest learning can occur. It’s our perception of what a mistake is that cripples us, we so often see it as something negative, when in truth, it’s an opportunity to understand how to do something differently that feels more true and honouring – that’s a gift.

  83. In order to let go of any ‘need’, it comes back to us accepting and appreciating that we are already amazing, that we are already everything that we ‘need’ to be in this life and it’s about living it, living the truth of who we are.

    1. A great point Alison, if we have everything inside that we need then there is no need to be perfect in the way we’ve seen perfection in the past.

    2. The tragedy is that nearly everyone is living who they are not, which means that we have hardly any living yardsticks by which to measure ourselves by. Pretty much everyone has cut themselves adrift and are floating around randomly and identifying with various different transient images, pictures, ideals and beliefs. The need to be perfect is one such idea that people bring into their sights and aim for, always our imagined identities are somewhere ‘out there’ as opposed to the rock solid certainty of re-connecting back to the truth of who we all are ‘in here’.

  84. The kids in your class are blessed to have you as their teacher. You will have set a standard with them, they will know that they are worth connecting to and with future teachers who do not have the same integrity you do hopefully they will realize they are not the problem, like many of us growing up did, but that the teacher is unable to connect with them.

    1. If we aren’t connected to ourselves there will be no connection with another, and so many of the teachers – unlike Anonymous here – have lost connection with themselves and therefore cannot truly connect to the children. And yet, being with children, we can observe and learn so much from them and come back to ourselves in the simplest of ways.

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