The good and bad side of perfectionism

Perfectionism, we’re all guilty of it at points in our lives. We want to be good at what we do. However, there is a difference between wanting to be good and needing to exceed, no matter what.

I’m sure lots of you think being a perfectionist is a great attribute to have. It can be, but I think it is important to discuss both the negatives and the positives of wanting everything to be ‘perfect’.

This topic got brought up by a viewer on my YouTube channel. They described having a perfectionist mindset and how it has had an impact on his life.

This is a great thing to acknowledge firstly because acknowledgment is the first step to taking more control over the more negative things impacting your life.

Perfectionism: The good and the bad

Wanting perfection has its perks. This is because:

  • You know what you want
  • You are true to yourself and your decisions
  • And you act in the best way possible to ensure success.

This is a short list but a strong one to say the least. Knowing what you want and how to get it sounds like the dream, but being this strongly opinionated and wanting this much control means little flexibility for either differing opinions or things out of your control.

This is where you’ll find a few of the downsides come into play.

Trying doesn’t mean success

When you try, that doesn’t always mean success, and so that means a less-than-perfect scenario.

The positives of this are that you can pick yourself up and try again as you do want to get to the perfect resolution.

But, what if perfection isn’t achievable?

Where does the scale for your perfection come from? If it’s from your own judgement, this can only lead to impressing ‘me, myself and I’.

With only yourself impressed, it can be tough to find the encouragement or drive to move forward, or keep focused.

This can be frustrating, sad, and even angering, as your sense of success is tainted by the overzealous expectations for yourself.

When a perfectionist gets to this it can be difficult to try new things as they become scared of failure.

Perfection might not be what you should be aiming for

Perfectionists have attributes that can positively fuel drive and passion, it can be a fantastic source of energy and a way to find a real sense of worth. However, it is important to direct that drive to the right tasks, situations and even people. 

A task may have several different ‘correct’ outcomes. A situation may have a lot of consequences from things out of your control. And people will have many differing opinions that can all be valid.

So, choosing when to be perfect is where real perfectionism lies.

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