I know I can be a perfectionist at times. While it can definitely be a good thing for certain things, it’s not always the best.
You might be like, “Why can it be a bad thing?” Well, I’ll tell you. Perfectionism isn’t just everything has to be done properly. Perfectionism is also wanting instant results and knowing that if you don’t get it, then you’ll give up.
Perfectionism is useful for projects and papers. Perfectionism is not useful for personal standards and actual life. Unfortunately, the idea of perfectionism is all around us. You see it in celebrities, sports, social media, and all over life. Celebrities are photoshopped and airbrushed until they can’t even recognize their own bodies. Have you ever seen an actor or actress with a pimple?
This idea of perfectionism is so prevalent in society that it is hurting the normal people. It impacts people’s self-esteem, abilities, even weight. People work for this idea of perfection so intensely that they hurt themselves.
Not only is this detrimental, but it is an idea of complacency. Perfectionism is the idea that you can only improve to a certain point. I personally prefer to be someone who is always learning, growing, and improving rather than someone who continually falls short of an unattainable standard. And also, perfectionism is lazy. If you’re “perfect” at something, then what’s the point of even doing it? I have made thirteen batches of macarons, and it’s still something I can work on. I would consider myself a master at it, but I’m still growing and improving on it. Being good at something is fine, but being perfect at it is overrated and takes the joy out of things.
So how do you overcome perfectionism? Well, the truth is that it’s not a quick fix. I’m still working on it. I’m still working to make it better. But I can still share the things that I’m doing to improve this idea of perfectionism.
First of all, don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re only human. You’ll make mistakes. I miss days at the gym every now and again. So to make sure I don’t lose motivation, I purposefully built in a rest day. This way, I already know that I’m skipping one day. I don’t feel so bad if I miss out on another dy.
Secondly, don’t put 100% into everything. Accept that you’re not perfect at all that you do. I’m not saying don’t care, but not everything has to be your best effort. I had to do something this summer for school to finish up (like I’ve mentioned) and I didn’t put my best effort into it. I still worked hard, but it just wasn’t the best.
Third, begin to accept yourself who you are where you are. For me, I’m working on my health. I want to be proud of my body and be healthy. But rather than continually looking to this goal, I focus on where I’m at right now and the improvements I’m making. I see small improvements. Don’t get so caught up on the destination that you neglect or forget the journey. You can only get to where you want to be by moving forward.
Finally, take it as slow as you need. Sometimes it’s being proud of yourself for what you accomplish in that day and in that day alone. Sometimes it’s consistently putting your head down to work for a week and realizing you’re improving.
Perfectionism may not always be bad, but it shouldn’t overtake your life. It’s okay not to be perfect at everything. I went axe throwing this weekend (it was a blast by the way). I’ve never done that before. It would be completely illogical for me to be a master my first time. I actually did pretty well with it. But I accepted the misses and was super excited when I hit the target.
Being perfect is overrated. Be you instead. Work to continually grow and improve. That is what makes you “perfect” because that makes you human. As humans, we are automatically imperfect. Don’t try to be something that you’re not. Strive for something much more attainable, like continual growth.