Perfectionism holds us back. Here's why...

by Michael Corthell

There are two basic types of perfectionists; Adaptive and Maladaptive. Adaptive types are considered 'normal'. Researchers have found that both adaptive and maladaptive perfectionists have high personal standards, but failing to meet those standards is more stressful for the maladaptive than for the adaptive or normal folks. STRESS is the key word. Stress is not healthy for the body, mind or soul — so lets do something about it.

 ''Perfectionism becomes a badge of honor with you playing the part of the suffering hero.''
David D. Burns

Being a perfectionist can:
  • Make you have low self esteem. A perfectionist has low self esteem because he can’t accept himself as he really is – imperfect.
  • Make you depressed and unhappy. No one can be happy if they can't accept life on life's terms. Constantly trying to make everything perfect, which is impossible, they will fall into depression. Happiness depends on acceptance and finding joy in the present.
  • Make you lose any relationship, sometimes before it can gain a foothold or make you develop a very toxic co-dependent one.
Aim for good enough. Again, know that nothing can be made perfect in this world. NOTHING. 

Understand that you damage yourself and the people around you by believing that it is possible to be perfect. Destruction can't be made perfect either, so why try?

Believe and know that you are only human and so are all your brothers and sisters. Even if you think some others in the world are perfect, they aren't, not by a long shot.

Compare only yourself with yourself. Set your own standards and goal. Strive for perfection knowing that is only a reach to try to do the best you can.

Do what you think is the right, not what the popular trend is at the time. We are inundated with messages in the news daily. Turn down the volume or just turn it off. Your heart will always tell you what is right. Just listen.

Smart people do stupid things, but are still smart. Good and decent people may sometimes be less than kind, but are still good and decent people. No one has to be perfect, no one can. Perfectionism produces the debilitating fear of failure and this comes about from failure to see any success in life as relative.

Is all of this perfectly clear? Get going, and try to do the best that you can. That is good enough.


Perfectionism holds us back. Here's why

If you can't do it perfectly, why do it at all? Recovering perfectionist Charly Haversat challenges our obsession with perfection in our personal lives, workplaces and beyond. Can we fight the crippling fear of failure and the unwillingness to compromise that it creates?