It is impossible to reach perfection. You can’t buy it with effort or money. Yet, we try.
Some people believe that whatever they try will never be good enough. Others are fearful that if they do attain success, they may not be able to replicate it. The belief that they may be rejected by others, if they are not perfect, leads others to try to be perfect.
What are the costs?
In an attempt to do it “just right” you spend time spent on tasks that are not really important to you. And you do not spend time doing what you say is important to you. You may choose not to take risk, whether personal or professional, because of the belief that the effort and result will not be good enough. You may not attempt to make changes in your life that will contribute to your well being because you do not think you can do it well enough.
Possibly, you are just living day to day without setting goals because you do not think you can do it well.
How can you address it?
If the above resonates with you, and you want to change, there are steps you can take to address your perfectionist tendencies.
- Decide what is important to you, and recognize how striving for perfectionism detracts from living the kind of life you want.
- Set realistic goals based on what is important to you. (What is realistic will be different for each person; it depends on your capacity to support the goals.)
- Accept that you will make mistakes. After all, you are human.
- Surround yourself with supportive people, who can hold up a mirror for you and help you see what is not apparent to you.
- Decide what is “good enough” and strive for this because perfect does not exist and the costs of striving for it are too high!
- Recognize and enjoy when you are successful.
- Develop the ability to be more flexible, so that you can change plans when the original ones do not work. Anticipate that plans rarely work out exactly as designed.
- Appreciate the success in trying! After all many people do not try because they are not willing to fail.
- Be willing to fall and get back up.
Do you need help?
You may have struggled with this for a long time and have worked hard both alone and with support to counter your perfectionist tendencies. it might be the case that it is so “hard wired” that you may consider seeking out the services of a therapist to get past this.
There is, of course, much more that could be said about this topic. However, in the spirit of “good enough” I am ending my comments. Though I hope that we can continue the conversation and welcome your thoughts.