Day 251: What is Perfectionism – The Thin Line Around Excellence

Hey There. I hope you are doing well. I pray everything is working out for you. Today, let’s shed some light on perfectionism. Have you ever been told that you are a perfectionist? In my attempts to be excellent, many people consider me a perfectionist – it happens. Let me say this, perfectionism is different from striving to be your best – what I would call excellence. But Brené says, Perfectionism is not about healthy achievement and growth. It is something else.

Surprisingly, she says, perfectionism is more about a perception. It is the belief that if we act, look and live perfectly, we will avoid being blamed or judged by others and so, we use it as a shield which we hope will protect us not knowing that it is becomes the thing that prevent us from soaring higher. It hinders success and actually make us feel stressful and cause life paralysis.

We miss out on opportunities because we are afraid to put ourselves out there, put in the world anything that is imperfect, and so we never start. We fear failing and making mistakes which may end up hurting others. Instead of starting and thinking ‘how can I improve’, a perfectionist is always focused on ‘what will they think of me?’

The reason why trying to be perfect is so dangerous is that there is no such a thing as perfect. It is unattainable goal because it is all about perception – you want to be perceived as a perfect person. It is unattainable because you cannot control perception no matter how much energy you spend trying as Brené found out in her research.  

To overcome the desire to be perfect, we need to acknowledge our vulnerabilities and practice self-compassion. When we become more compassionate and love ourselves, we then are able to embrace our imperfections. This makes us be able to build the courage and faith to start.

Photo by Jakson Martins on

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