The Poison of Being Perfect

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Perfectionism is a quality that is often celebrated and lauded in our society. We see it as a characteristic of success. From an early age, we are taught that perfection is the ideal standard to achieve in academics, sports, and even our appearance. However, while being driven to excel is commendable, the constant pursuit of perfection can have a negative impact on us and those we interact with. It may impact both our mental health and well-being. We may use it as a way to control our surroundings. If I am perfect, I can’t be wrong.

The downside of perfectionism is that it creates high expectations that are often unattainable. I must be perfect every moment resulting in a cycle of fear and self-doubt as we strive to meet these unfeasible standards. The pressure to be perfect can be exhausting and cause us to be dissatisfied with our accomplishments, leading to a lack of self-confidence and a sense of failure. Additionally, perfectionistic tendencies can create rigid thinking patterns, making it difficult to accept change and adapt to new situations.

The link between perfectionism and mental health is well-documented. Perfectionists are more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. The fear of not being perfect can also lead to obsessive-compulsive disorder, as individuals become increasingly fixated on controlling their environment to prevent anything from interfering with their quest for perfection. The impact of perfectionism on mental health can be severe, leading to a reduced quality of life and an increased risk of long-term illnesses.

However, overcoming perfectionism is possible. The first step is recognising the problem and accepting that perfectionism is not a healthy way to live. Practising self-compassion is essential, and it involves understanding that everyone makes mistakes and being kind to oneself in the face of failures or setbacks. Instead of striving for perfection, focus on progress and view mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow.

In conclusion, perfectionism may seem like a desirable quality, but it can be detrimental to our mental health and well-being. Overcoming it may be challenging, but leading a fulfilling life is worth it. By letting go of the need to be perfect and accepting ourselves as we are, we can create a healthier mindset that allows for growth and progress without the poison of perfection holding us back.

When I am in control of my life, I am responsible for my life; when I am not, I can blame someone else. When I believe I need to be perfect, I am out of control and hence controlling.