Life by Design

The Dangers of Perfectionism and What You Should Do Instead


December 17, 2021

I'm Regina.
Psychologist, executive coach, and functional medicine health coach and my mission is to help you truly thrive. Let's get to work!
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Perfectionism is dangerous. You probably haven’t heard it put in such stark terms before. After all, we live in a culture that valorizes those who sacrifice their personal lives for work. We have lionized CEOs who work for 100 hour weeks and workers who refuse to take breaks. But the truth is that perfectionism is dangerous for your mental and physical health. You don’t have to be perfect, even as you strive to be your best. Realizing that you can perform at a high level without being perfect makes it easier for you to focus and reduces your stress.

Perfectionism Is Really About Anxiety

At its heart, perfectionism is about anxiety. We feel anxious that we aren’t good enough. That the work we are doing isn’t worthy. That we shouldn’t be praised. That we aren’t deserving of a promotion. Or if it is a relationship, that we aren’t deserving of love. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are incredibly worthy and deserving. Our best is more than enough. Perfectionism isn’t about being our best selves. It is about fearing that we can’t get there.

Remember That There Is No Such Thing As Perfection

It is critical to remember that there is no such thing as perfection. Perfection doesn’t actually exist. There is no objective perfection. So to strive for it is to always fail. Being a perfectionist is a game that you can never win. The problem is when you have an issue with falling short and want to strive for perfection over all else. When you realize that you actually cannot achieve perfection, things get a lot easier.

Learn To Be Comfortable Trying Your Best And Being Okay With The Results

You can still be a great version of yourself without being perfect. You can learn to be comfortable with trying your best and being okay with the results. You aren’t going to reach all of your goals in the precise way that you imagined them. There is nothing wrong with that. You can be fantastic at your job and have wonderful relationships without being perfect. Learn to work on being the best version of yourself that you can be without beating yourself up for not being perfect.

Happy Lady At Work
At the end of the day, your life doesn’t need to be perfect. Your job doesn’t need to be perfect. What you need is to be comfortable trying your best and living with the results. You can stress yourself into ill health trying to be perfect. No matter how things may appear, even the most successful people in the world aren’t perfect. The best athletes, business executives, and journalists all make mistakes. You trying to be perfect and instead focus that energy on being the best version of yourself that you can be.

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