Perfection: Can it be achieved or is it holding you back?
Perfect, perfect, perfect.
We all want to have a perfect life, a perfect partner, a perfect pet, a perfect job, a perfect everything. If it isn’t perfect then it’s wrong, or just not good enough, right?
Well, you might want to think twice.
The problem is that perfectionism is a paradox: it drives us to be perfect, a goal which, in and of itself, is inherently unattainable. It truly is impossible. Rather than it taking us closer to our goal, it more often than not leads us to workaholism and burnout. Two things that are truly no good for our mental health, or our life in general.
Why is it that trying to achieve perfection can lead us the wrong way?
Think about it, can perfection really be attained? Does wanting things to be perfect encourage you to work on them or paralyze you with fear? What is perfect for you is perfect for everyone else?
If you answer all of these questions you will very quickly realize what the problem is. It is simply impossible and rather than inspiring you to do better it will more probably just hold you back.
So, what should you do? Become lazy and mediocre?
Well, no. You should still aim high, but do not aim for perfection. Rather aim for ‘the best you can do’. It sounds completely different and it will have a completely different effect on you. Rather than holding you back and make you all anxious and troubled it will help you achieve greatness by giving the best you’ve got, which I promise you, is more than enough.
Putting the bar too high is stopping you, whilst putting it at a realistic height will encourage you to try your best. If instead of saying you will clean your house till it’s perfect and it looks like Marie Kondo’s, you said I’ll clean my house and make it look better than it is, you will probably put your hands in gloves with the second sentence and sit on a corner whilst crying with the first sentence.
Because aiming too high gives your brain the wrong sign of telling you that unless you achieve utter perfection all…