Perfection That Dwells in Imperfection

Perfection That Dwells in Imperfection

Last update: 25 January, 2017

Interestingly, one of the best quotes about imperfection did not come from the lips of a famous philosopher or a famous psychologist. It was an Italian actor, Vittorio Gassman, who said that “our imperfections help us to be afraid. Trying to solve them helps us to have courage.”

It may be ironic and striking, because it is easy to think that it would have been perfect if it had been a great philosopher of global and historical stature who recited the most perfect sentences about imperfection. However, the human being is imperfect, hence anyone, no matter how insignificant they feel, is able to accomplish great feats.

However, it is sensible to think that everyone will make mistakes throughout their life. Does this mean they cannot be happy? Shall we berate ourselves for every failure? The answer is no, because in our own imperfection dwells perfection. We can all be perfectly imperfect.

“You do not love someone because they are perfect. You love people despite what they are not.”

-Jodi Picoult-

Therapy of imperfection

Adam Smith once said that “if you approach a situation like a matter of life or death, many times you’ll die.” This wise judgment is perfect for embarking on a psychological theory that has developed its own clinical methodology: the therapy of imperfection.

With great defenders such as its own creator, Dr. Ricardo Peter, professor at UDLAP, researcher and psychotherapist, this therapy is to devise an effective treatment for disorders of perfectionism which today is so prevalent.


The therapy of imperfection is based on ‘meetings’ instead of a classical therapeutic sessions.

By establishing ‘encounters’, it seeks to place the therapist and the person receiving the session on the same plane, thereby undermining any inclusion of advantage or disadvantage of both participants. The mission of the therapist is to explore the self-understanding of the person.

Human imperfection

The contradiction is this: knowing that we are imperfect in many cases does not tire us from facing our own nature. In fact, the discomfort of some people is so great that they turn this grief into an obsession.

However, perfection pushed to the limit does not exert any positive influence on the human psyche because we are not even able to define exactly what it is. A circle, a sphere, a job well done…?


Currently, the debate around perfectionism is still open as there is no agreement which has settled it. Despite the discrepancies, yes there is an idea that perfection does not exist and these are some of their arguments:

  • Plato sought throughout his life the perfect and definitive idea, which can only be reached by finding perfection. Do you think he got it?
  • Other progressive philosophical ideas state that after perfection there is nothing else. If the world is constantly changing and evolving, and we are part of this world, it is clear that such perfection could not exist.
  • There is also a school of thought that states that perfection does not exist, but perfectionism does. The idea of doing something better and better does not mean that one day you’ll cary it out perfectly, but it invites improvement.

The perfection of imperfection

Is there a logical conclusion in this regard? The truth is that there probably is. But there is not only one correct answer; instead there are as many thought processes as there are human beings that inhabit this planet.


What may seem perfect for someone, may be deeply wrong for others. Perfection seems to be an idea, an image, a utopia that should become the engine to make people be better and not a liquid in which we slowly sink ourselves with no other choice but to terminate drowned by the desire itself.

“But perhaps many gardens are not beautiful because they are imperfect?”

-Libba Bray-

Any human being can be perfectly imperfect. Within all of us there is the desire to improve, the need to be happier or the utopian image of our perfect world. It only depends on us, not so much on building something perfect, but as something better.

The Useless Perfectionism

The obsession with perfectionism, more than being a virtue, is rather than a limitation. Not accepting it leads us squarely to suffering and frustration. See more

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.