Most of us like it when we ourselves do extremely well and when others ‘do perfectly by us’ – how they express perfection to us can in many ways ranging from customer service, the ideal type of affectionate expression – knowing and saying the right thing, or hugging at the right time etc.. and so many other ways.
Much of the fear we experience in our lives is not directly life threatening but may threaten us with job loss, or a bad grade or we may be punished by a loved one – these as well as life threatening dangers all contribute to our fear of making mistakes. In Notes from the Firehouse, a retired fireman describes many occasions when they really did suffer from the results of their own errors and team members were often tormented for having made mistakes, all the more so since life and death were often real concerns.
That being acknowledged people also often react negatively to individuals and organizations who are perceived as being perfect or suspiciously ‘too perfect’ – like it is now a negative quality. Especially women experience this in ways that contribute to female ‘fear of success’ because of all the people who really are negative about such a dominant and perfect female – who could be such a woman’s lover ?! Will she be lonely forever – her crime? Perfection. Why are the good punished when evil is supposed to be punished and good nurtured?
That being said, it also seems that the critical power of the human mind has the ability to make anything not good enough – just as a teenager or disgruntled spouse about that: and sure as night leads to day and vice versa, you will see that is also true.
The reality is that constructive criticism, education and loving correction do seem able to help people to improve in almost innumerable ways from potty training to playing sports to doing one’s job. Even so, each individual has to learn to strike the balance because the same type of attitude that can help a person find their peak performance, in unrelenting after they have reached their own best, becomes destructive. What made someone great, can also destroy them. This seems to be the reality. People have their own preferences and we can each do our best in life. We can learn to feel as if what we do is good enough or can train ourselves to feel that it is never good enough…never good enough can function in a range justifying ‘low life’ behavior to making even a Saint or even our old not dead because he ascended but post crucified Messiah – envision Jesus pacing someplace biting his nails because even though he managed to be a Messiah he still sucked – just was not good enough. That’s obviously what the problem really was.