The toxic side of Perfectionism

We often learn that perfectionism is a positive personality trait. In today’s society, we always strive towards getting better results and it leaves the impression that everyone has to be perfect. People who appear to be perfectionists look more successful and are even more likely to get accepted for certain jobs. However, perfectionism can put a lot of pressure on us. Today I will tell you more about the dangers of perfectionism and I will also show you why it’s better to let go of it.

Perfectionism does more harm than good. Why? Firstly, being a perfectionist makes us spend a lot of time on our projects, time we could’ve spent on something else. Research shows us that we get 80% of the results in 20% of the time. This is called the Pareto principle. This means that the last 20% of your work (and striving for perfect results) costs you 80% of your time.  So if you settle for an 8 instead of a 10, you will have way more time for things you really like.

In addition, if we always strive towards perfect results, we are thinking about what others might want the result to be, until reaching the point where we’re doing things we don’t like. Trying to achieve things other people like drains our energy. It can also be very confusing because everyone has different expectations from us. This only leaves us frustrated and unhappy.

Lastly, putting the bar too high can cause performance anxiety. This fear leaves us feeling stressed and worried and can go two ways. It can either lead to procrastination or to getting burned out. In the first case, we feel that the perfect goal we have in mind is difficult to achieve, we don’t know where to start with the result of us not starting at all, which can make us feel anxious or depressed. In the second case, we keep going because we are driven by reaching perfect results, which inevitably causes burnout symptoms in the long run.

Now you might wonder how you can become happier and more relaxed. Try to change your mindset! Here are 5 reasons to let go of your perfectionism today:

1. Perfection doesn’t exist and no one is perfect.

2. ‘Failing’ is simply a way of learning and getting better.

3. You have to start somewhere to get better at something. Also, you have to do things you’ve never done before in order to learn something new!

4. Many people appreciate it if you do things your way and create something authentic. You shouldn’t care about what the critics might say.

5. You don’t have to do everything alone. People with more experience will be happy to help you.

If you have the feeling that your perfectionism has been standing in the way of reaching your goals, try to look at things from a different point of view. Share your story or tips in the comments below!

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