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Being a Perfectionist Will Destroy Your Happiness
Interesting questions gang… on the surface you probably think that being a perfectionist is a GREAT thing and that it is something you should strive for… in fact some people even brag that they are perfectionists!
But… lets take a deeper look at this issue of perfectionism and being happy!
First what is Perfectionism?
Perfectionism is defined as refusal to accept any standard short of perfection. A perfectionist is therefore someone who has this characteristic.
So right off the hopper it is obvious that perfectionism is a myth.
As humans it is impossible to be perfect.
=> We can strive for excellence.
=> We can strive to do our very best (and we should).
=> We should strive to become the best person we can be.
=> We should have self discipline
=> and we should always be looking to improve on ourselves.
BUT! We must get rid of the notion of being perfect. We must not let our perfectionism nature destroy our happiness.
Since we have already determined that we as humans can not be perfect… but yet we strive to be perfect this will negatively affect other aspects of our lives and as a result it will impossible to be happy.
Part of the problem is that society regards perfectionism as good and something we should attain… while imperfection is deemed as a negative thing.
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Everybody wants everybody else to be perfect.
=> Employers want their staff to be perfect at their job.
=> As parents we want our kids to be the best kids possible.
=> Grown up perfectionists want everything about their life to be perfect.
We are surrounded by it in our culture and I believe this notion that we should all be perfect has a negative mental affect on many many people.
What ends up happening is people start to give up on improving their lives and going after happiness… They think that since they can not be perfect… since they can not be the best there is no point in even trying.
There are obvious major problems with this.
A major league baseball player swings out 7 times out of 10 when he is up to bat and he is considered to be an all star… he is paid millions of dollars per year. That means he is ONLY hitting he ball 30% of the time!
30% most would consider that a HUGE failure… but it is not!
Sales people may talk to 100 people and make 1 sale… is that perfection? Far from it… but is it failing?? Not by a long shot… 1 -3 out of 100 in sales are good ratios and you can become very wealthy with that ratio!
This goes for most things in life!
The key is to strive to be your best, but do not beat yourself up over it. Learn to master yourself. Apply self discipline to do what is required to make your life as it should be, but do not compare it to other people’s life.
Your best is all you should strive for… not perfection!
So obviously I am not suggesting that striving to be the best you can be is not good. But again being YOUR BEST is not perfectionism.
A person can reach every single goal they set for themselves without being perfect!
One of the keys to happiness is to live your life in the present, enjoy the now, while working to improve the future.
Being a perfectionist will not allow this to happen… by being a perfectionist our minds are always planning and thinking about the future or even worse lamenting about what went wrong in our past. What we could have changed or did different.
With these negative feelings in your mind how can you really have peace, joy and contentment? You can’t!
So are you a perfectionist? Do you have perfectionist attributes?
I for one can admit that I wrestle with this flaw in my personality. It was not until recent years that I was able to see this for what it was. I was always pushing myself and beating myself up if I did not reach a goal or hit a target in record speed. It created frustration, stress and anxiety.
Personal development is the key to overcoming this. Stay positive, but also learn to relax! Set goals and put plans in place to reach them, BUT relax!
Work towards your goals around a reasonable daily schedule… Set reasonable expectations for yourself.
Success or reaching any goal takes time, allow your self this time…. there will be set backs, but in the end it is simply practicing a few simple disciplines daily over and over again.
Your best is all that is required to live a happy and successful life!
Check out my video on this same topic:
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