The Pursuit of Perfection

Posted on by leapforward

Have you ever felt pressure to achieve perfection in your career, relationships, or personal life? Let’s talk about setting yourself free from the pursuit of perfection – and where to focus your effort and energy instead.


Melanie Ott

Inspirational Thoughts

“Gold cannot be pure, and people cannot be perfect.” ~ Chinese Proverb

“Have no fear of perfection — you’ll never reach it.” ~ Salvador Dali

“Perfect is the enemy of the good.” ~ Voltaire

Don’t Let Perfection Become Your Prison

It’s admirable to set lofty standards. However, if you’re seldom satisfied with the outcome of your endeavors, you may have a touch of perfectionism.

Perfection can be a cruel task master. It casts a negative shadow, forcing you focus on what went wrong rather than what went well. In addition, perfection is associated with anxiety, depression and eating disorders.

We all want to be the best we can be at whatever we tackle … but we’re human, which means none of us is perfect. So how do you seek to shine and grow — without becoming a slave to perfection?

Pursuit of Perfection

The Curse of Perfectionism: It’s Unattainable

Not only is flawlessness at odds with our humanity, its highly subjective; my perfect boss or perfect vacation might drive you crazy, and your vision of the perfect parent or project could be totally different from someone else’s.

Perfection is also problematic because it’s a moving target. You think you’ll find happiness once you get that next promotion, restore a relationship, or achieve a new goal. But perfection is a mirage; you’re positive you can see it in the distance, but as you move in closer, it keeps getting farther away.

Instead of Perfection, Seek Excellence

So how do you stop pursuing perfection without staying on the sidelines or giving up on your goals? Rather than seeking perfection, make excellence and growth your endgame.

Perfection can cause you to overlook your minor victories. Don’t wait to celebrate the completion of a project. Focus on doing great work and making incremental progress. And, be sure to celebrate small wins along the way. Learn to acknowledge your achievements and learn from your mistakes – find success in doing your best.

Remove Perfection from Your Happiness Equation

Life’s imperfections can be a stumbling block to joy – but they don’t have to be. True acceptance and peace don’t come from changing what is outside of you, but from appreciating what’s inside you. Since perfectionism is a learned behavior, the good news is that it can also be unlearned. By learning to find the joy in circumstances that aren’t perfect, you will feel happier, healthier, and at greater peace with your life.

Tips to Stop Chasing Perfection

At Leap Forward Coaching our process will help you create and become your best self – and our thoughtful methods will help you resist the internal and external pressures to pursue perfection.

This entry was posted in Archive Newsletter, Discover Your Strengths, Focus on the Future, Happiness, Joy, Mindfulness, Prescription for Health, Worry & Anxiety, Zen Habits. Bookmark the permalink.