Licensed Psychologist

Perfectionism

Most of us would consider having high standards a good thing. It reflects ambition and a desire for success. The perfectionist, however, sets unrealistically high standards that often cannot be met, can rob him of personal satisfaction, and can actually interfere with success. Most perfectionists learned early in life that they were valued by how much they achieved. For them, life was an endless report card. Instead of developing their own inner self worth, they learned to value themselves on the basis of other people's approval.

The truth is that no one succeeds at becoming "just right," free of flaws and failings. Growth is a lifelong process and criticizing ourselves just slows it down and keeps us unhappy. Balancing honest appraisal with self acceptance each day can open up possibilities for change without shame and negativity.

I would like to share some interesting quotations on this subject.

"Perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order."
Anne Wilson Schaef

"It is failure that guides evolution; perfection provides no incentive for improvement, and nothing is perfect."
Colson Whitehead, The Intuitionist

"When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are."
Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life

"Perfection is not a destination; it's a never-ending process...Enjoy!"
Jim Bouchard, Think Like a Black Belt

"Stop waiting for the perfect day or the perfect moment... Take THIS day, THIS moment and lead it to perfection."
Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience