Being a perfectionist has always been a controversial topic. Some say that it’s a myth. I’ve met people with a perfectionist approach in my corporate experience, and I was really impressed with their work’s outcomes. But is it really worth it? Let’s dig deep.
Last week, I was reading an article from psychologist “Margaret Rutherford.” She writes:
Perfectionism comes in different flavours. There’s a “constructive perfectionism,” where we focus on the process of improvement and find energy in our progress. And there’s also a “destructive perfectionism,” where we end up fixating on achieving perfection or becoming perfect in the eyes of others.
She further adds that this brand of perfectionism can send us down a dark path. The first step is to determine if your brand of perfectionism is problematic, and then you can commit to a plan to change, considering potential stumbles along the way.
Perfectionism for Middle-Class People Takes Huge Mental Toll!
Being born and brought up in a middle-class family, I’ve been taught from childhood that I must be twice as good to make it in the world, that anything less than a 100% is a failure, and that mediocrity will disgrace our family and community.
I think that this kind of perfectionism can cause us to spend far more time polishing our outcomes, e.g., designing an app, a project, or writing a journal entry when it could’ve been shared much sooner.
“If you find that you suffer from destructive perfectionism, how does it show up for you?”
Perfectionism, to me, is a test of accountability and self-awareness for work. There needs to be a balance and a mindset that helps with self-reflection when planning and executing excellence.
There is an outstanding line that separates “being hurt” by perfectionism or the trait that can catapult someone to greatness. While it’s common knowledge that perfectionism doesn’t exist, striving for the almost perfect result cannot be a bad thing.
“Striving For Best” is Just a Fallacy
We can strive to be the best son, the best coder, or the best writer, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I believe — striving for greatness should be applauded instead of criticized.
However, on the contrary, our desire for “almost perfect” prevents us from moving forward, which is a negative trait that needs to be addressed promptly.
In my opinion, perfectionism can make us falsely believe that we owe all our success to it, which makes working to eliminate it very difficult. It can leave us feeling that we are just tolerating mediocrity if we are not striving for perfection. It also sustains “Impostor Syndrome” and can get in the way of the process of overcoming it.
Chill, and Love Your Imperfections :)
The failures you have been through are like scars that you wear on your body. They are signs of a battle you fought. Even if you lost, the scars were left behind as a reminder of who you were and who you can be.