The insanity of the race for self-perfection

The insanity of the race for self-perfection

In a world that chases after perfection, it feels like every little flaw is a mistake. Everywhere you look, from magazine covers to social media, it seems like there’s a voice telling you to always do more and be more.

But then there’s Ursula Eysin from Red Swan, who teaches us a different tune. With her, the race for self-perfection turns into a journey to find who you really are.

What if the things you thought were wrong with you were actually helping you grow? Ursula invites you into a space where chasing perfection is replaced with the power of accepting the beautiful mess that is life.

Ursula Eysin, based in Vienna, operates as a creative strategist and the progenitor of Red Swan. Her establishment assists individuals and organizations in harnessing the potential of uncertainty through the method of future scenario thinking. With her scholarly background in sinology, political science, economics, and advanced public relations, she imparts insights on future possibilities, technology’s trajectory, business dynamics, and the nuances of the human element. Her approach involves a thorough exploration of the subconscious. It’s here that Ursula uses to guide her clients toward success and the realization of their most ambitious goals.

Understanding the Scenario Technique

Feelings of uncertainty about what’s ahead can make anyone uneasy. In fact, a McKinsey Global Resilience Survey found that only 31% of leaders in various industries feel fully prepared for the challenges that lie ahead​​. 

This is where Ursula Eysin’s scenario technique comes into play, a tool that equips you to face multiple futures confidently. It helps you “create the future and deal with uncertainty in a better way.”

The U.S. Air Force invented this technique in the 1940s as a strategy to think ahead of their enemies. And it worked so well that the big oil company, Shell, used it and got ahead of a big crisis while others were left behind. 

But not only big corporations can use this technique; individuals can use it too. It’ll help you stay ready for whatever comes next, making sure you’re not just going along with life but actively blazing your own trail.

Using the Scenario Technique to Escape the Pursuit of Self-Perfection

Chasing “perfect” can trap you in a cycle of endless striving. According to Ursula, the scenario technique offers a way out. 

Instead of pinning down a single perfect future, you explore many paths that might unfold. Here’s how it helps you shift your mindset and step off the perfection treadmill:

  1. Identify your driving forces. Reflect on what moves you and what you want to change in your life and the world. Some of the questions Ursula suggests asking are:
    • What would you like to see changed in the world? 
    • What would you like to change in the world? 
    • What skills do you have? 
    • What skills would you like to acquire to promote this change in the world?
  1. Rank their importance. Decide how much each driving force matters to you and its impact on your life decisions.
  1. Explore different paths. Look at where different choices could lead you, considering various life scenarios.
  1. Interview your future self. Imagine yourself in the future. Are you happy with the decisions you made? This helps you see if your current path aligns with your true desires.

As she explains in the interview, these are the steps she used for a 13-year-old deciding on a school. It helped to clear away confusion, allowing the young girl to make a decision that felt right to her. 

Similarly, this approach can free you from chasing an impossible ideal. Moreover, it’ll help guide you toward choices that fulfill your journey to the self.

Perfectly Imperfect

Perfection is an illusion. Even with the rise of technology, you’ll likely find an ad for an app to increase your memory, productivity, body, or what have you… But, according to Ursula, the message is very clear: We are not good enough the way we are.

“They have some technology that will enhance us to become better,” she points out. “But is that really necessary, and can we really do that? I think that’s a very mechanistic worldview, and it doesn’t make us very human.”

The reality is, true beauty in life comes from its rough edges, not its smooth corners. And chasing a perfect self can blur who you really are. So take it from Ursula Eysin and leave the high horse of perfection behind. Walk the path of learning and finding yourself instead. 

For more talks that turn success on its head and uplift the soul, check out the Honest Conversations series with Kristina Mänd-Lakhiani.

Episode resources:

Ursula Eysin | ⁠⁠⁠⁠Instagram⁠⁠

Ursula Eysin | ⁠⁠⁠⁠LinkedIn⁠

Ursula Eysin | ⁠⁠⁠⁠Website⁠

Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman is a content writer for Mindvalley and a Certified Life Coach. With a background in spa and wellness as well as being a cancer survivor, she's constantly on the lookout for natural, effective ways that help with one's overall well-being.

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