The Skinny – Amy Brunell

The Be-Perfect Driver —

Today I want to talk about being perfect. My mother used to refer to someone who was trying to be perfect as having a “Be-Perfect Driver” within them. She would catch me trying to do something “right” and she’d say, “oh you’ve got your Be-Perfect Driver on.” Of course my mother didn’t realize her responsibility that she perhaps had a hand in the development of this Be-Perfect Driver, but that’s another story!

People who try and act and think perfectly often have an all-or-nothing mentality. I mean if you have to be perfect, than why complete something or even start something if it’s not perfect? Because we are so afraid to fail, we often don’t take risks and RISK the possibility of success.

Being perfect is exhausting and we Be-Perfect people spend a great deal of time thinking of how others should behave so they too can be a little more perfect. We’re not just judging ourselves, we often judge you as well. Doesn’t all this judgement come in handy after all? Aren’t we discerning individuals who are trying to make the world a better place?

Frankly it’s a rough road trying to sort out who’s who and who should do what and be thus and so forth. It’s like having a large weight on your shoulders that shows up as pain in your back…literally.

In many indigenous cultures, the idea of ‘being perfect’ is an offense to God, since God is the only being that can in essence “be perfect.” We are made purposely imperfect. How would beings grow and develop if we were perfect? How would technology advance and radical ideas burst forth if beings were already perfect?

So when you catch yourself trying to “be perfect,” ask yourself who’s idea are you following anyway? I have noticed that when people are confronted with this question, they often realize the answer comes from a long-ago place where someone told you something that you decided translated into a need to “be-perfect.”

To let the Driver go, work on actually feeling that pressure of not being perfect. Don’t try to make it go away but instead feel the pressure and all the ramifications within your body that this pressure causes. After you feel this, then you work with forgiving yourself. First you forgive yourself for not being perfect and then you forgive yourself for thinking that you actually could be. The last step is to practice and I said PRACTICE letting go. Letting go of your relentless expectations takes time, attention, and guts. But each time you catch yourself with that fierce Driver taking over, stop, feel, forgive and let go. Eventually the driver won’t have so much force and later that Be-Perfect Driver won’t be in control of the vehicle. You will be.

The Actors' Gang


  1. I think we should change the phrase from “Practice makes perfect” to “Practice makes better”.

  2. It must be hard to “BE PERFECT”. I am not perfect and will never be. Life is difficult enough and in my opion being that “PERFECT DRIVER” must be exhausting, boring and lonely. Your right they need to practice being a little messy, they might find life a little easier, make new friends and maybe rekindle some that they lost.

    Thanks Amy, many more months of wonderful topics.

  4. I found that chronic illness left me no choice but to release the ” be perfect driver ” . Now that I am beginning to recover I am definitely kicking that driver out of my new car .

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