In a lifestyle where we strive to be the best we can be, the best submissive, slave, Dominant...person, it can be easy to lose sight of realistic expectations. Expectations are set high by ourselves and by our significant other and meeting that expectation, maybe even surpassing it become our focus. Because our Dominant wants it and we want to do it for them. However, as much as we strive to be the best, there is no such thing as perfection. Sometimes it's difficult to accept, and definitely difficult to keep in mind when you're so focused on serving. Especially if you are a perfectionist, or have perfectionist tendencies.
I will be the first person to admit, I am most definitely a perfectionist to the point where I can make myself sick over tasks, especially when it comes to work. It can be extremely difficult to separate that attitude from the “other me”, the me that Master sees more often, the one that isn't at her desk – rather, she's focused on her service and that's it. And part of me doesn't want to separate my perfectionism from Jessa the submissive. Not only is it a part of my personality (the one that Master said he was attracted to), it's a tool, a work ethic that is applicable to both my RL work and my service to Master.
So how does one balance a need for perfection with the reality that it's never going to happen? Personally, remembering that serving well does not mean perfection is a specific goal of mine. I think it's okay to have high expectations. I think that it's a fantastic way to motivate yourself and wave of pride you feel when you've accomplished something that means so much to you is such a reward (as is my Master's pride in me, but that's a whole different topic.) Do I apply these high expectations to everything I do? Unfortunately and fortunately, yes. I do struggle with not putting myself down when I don't do something as good as I had expected myself to do it. Master has told me on more than one occasion that I have done nothing wrong. And that's where the difference needs to be highlighted. Completing a task below our own self-set standards and completing our task for our Dominant to be evaluated at their standards are two very separate things. I may feel that I have failed (it happens more often then I'd like it to, but I've been a perfectionist all my life), but Master may think I've done a superb job on whatever it is I'm completing.
I guess one could argue that this is where trust comes in. This is where the focus should be. I know without a doubt that my Master would tell me if I did something that wasn't up to his standards. I guess that's where trust comes in, and expectations within the relationship. Master has taken me in his hands – I have given myself to him knowing he won't let me fail; he'll make me into the best version of me possible. I'll always fight internally with myself, but knowing Master's judgment is what truly affects me, it makes things a little easier.
The same can be said for my Master. Long before I wore Master's collar, I knew that there was no perfect Dominant. As I stated earlier – there is no perfect person. We are all growing and learning and evolving in our Dominance or our submission. Mistakes are a way of growing. It's not healthy to expect a Dominant or a submissive to be perfect. To anticipate your every mood. To do everything right the first time. I find that to be unhealthy and a set up for disappointment. Besides, if someone were really that perfect, what could we offer them? How could we help them grow or learn?
I will never get angry at my Master for making a mistake. I accepted him as he is. I don't expect perfection, I don't expect him to have all the answers. I know he too holds himself to higher standards, but he's also mindful of the standards I hold him to. In our relationship, that's what we hold ourselves too. It's the standards of the relationship that matter. And if you're aren't currently in one, know that as long as you make yourself happy, as long as you try your best, you are succeeding. Forward, positive motion is is the important part. Your friends aren't perfect. Your teacher and mentor's aren't perfect. Your friends aren't perfect. It's the imperfection that makes us interesting and unique. As long as we focus on the positive and take away something from mistakes made and problems overcome, imperfection shouldn't be viewed as a negative. It's what gives us our diversity, our character, and our strength.