Perfectionism Trap

I’ve been there,
it’s exhausting having to try to be perfect all the time.
That’s how I held it together ever since I was a kid.
I figured nothing, nothing bad would happen if I was just,
One step ahead of everything and everybody, all the time..


First of all, I don’t believe perfectionism is bad character trait. In fact, I think it’s a sign of self-respect. As perfectionists, I know I have high standards about what I can do. That mean, I just want to demonstrate my best at all times. And sadly, it simply isn’t possible. That’s what drives me nuts. Because, in my experience, life, by its very nature, prevents this.

The desire to excel is usually a good thing, but when it spills over into perfectionism it can also cause a lot of trouble. Honestly, too often I put off turning in papers or projects, waiting to get them just right. Or, feel that I must give more than 100 percent on everything I do or else I’ll be mediocre or even a failure.

Until last year, I recognize this trait holds me back, and that’s the start for me to make real effort to overcome it. I changed my motto to “Progress, not perfection,” and to be honest, it served me well, and I’m proud of it. (You can check, that lots of my writing on this blog since last year, actually reflect on some of my efforts to overcome it).

It does, however, still trigger mild anxiety. But, I have it under control to a great extent. I won’t pretend to have all the answers. I can only share with you the things that work for me.

“Progress, not Perfection”

Sometimes, on my perfectionists mode, I used to think I’m not good enough. That makes me to constantly beat myself up for falling short. But, I realize, if the ultimate goal is perfection, I’ll always be disappointed. To overcome it, I’m learning to be grateful with progress, rather than a so called “amazing” result.

“To Prove ‘something’? It doesn’t Matters..”

Okay, here’s what I think. Who are you trying to be perfect for? Truth be told, no one notices you nearly as much as they notice themselves. That’s the nature of the world. So, I just letting it go my desire to impress others, or to prove “something”, that eventually trap me in perfectionism. How much others cares anyway? It just, doesn’t matters.

“Get Real, will you?”

By setting more realistic goals, I’m gradually realize that “imperfect” results do not lead to the punitive consequences I expect and fear. Otherwise, I enjoy process without too much anxiety. I don’t necessarily stop trying to improve, but I also doing it for fun and relaxation. Perfectionists often miss out on fun, relaxation and satisfaction, because it’s just not real.

Many of successful people are indeed accomplished while striving to perfect ourselves. Great achievers, like perfectionists, want to be and do better; but, they are also willing to admit to make mistakes and accept (learn) from failure, and general imperfection as part of the reality of being human..

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4 Responses to Perfectionism Trap

  1. John Archer says:

    The solution is very simple. Perfection is actually impossible to achieve by humans, but excellence is. So, instead, pursue excellence. IE be the best that you can be. ALSO – Try pursuing fulfillment as a priority. After all – that is really the motivation behind everything we do.

    • armetra says:

      @John Archer:
      Very nice comment, and I couldn’t more agree with you, John..Yes, fulfillment shall be top priority..

      BTW, thank you for your time to comments here. I appreciate it a lot..

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