I’m not sure how it happened, maybe in my strict upbringing, maybe exposure to the Hollywood worshiping culture that seems to permeate this country, maybe it’s genetic, but somewhere along the way I began to set insanely high standards for myself in some areas. While this can be a great benefit, it can also be a heavy burden to bear. We need to understand the difference in the pursuit of excellence, which is wonderful, and perfectionism, which is destructive.
Perfectionists actually seek perfection. Now tell me, is that realistic? Another problem with perfectionism is that perfection is relevant. What one person sees as perfect, another may not. Since perfectionists seek to be perceived as perfect by themselves and others, this is a constant state of frustration. There is no perfect, merely opinions. Pursuers of excellence are thrilled when they meet a new goal because they know they are making progress.
Perfectionists determine their self worth by their achievements. Pursuers of excellence place value themselves based on who they are.
Perfectionists tend to give up when they meet obstacles while pursuers of excellence dig in and push harder.
Perfectionists can be completely devastated by failure. Pursuers of excellence learn from it.
Perfectionists dwell on their mistakes. Pursuers of excellence see them as a tool for growth.
Perfectionists want to be number one while pursuers of excellence can be content knowing that they have done their best.
Perfectionists hate criticism. Pursuers of excellence see critique as a way to improve.
Perfectionists have to win to have good self esteem. Pursuers of excellence can finish in a lower position and feel good, knowing that it was their very best effort.
If you see yourself as a perfectionist, do whatever it takes to embrace the pursuit of excellence. Perfectionism has a negative effect on your overall health and well being. It can contribute to insomnia, high blood pressure and anxiety and cause personality issues that can contribute to problems on the job and with personal relationships, while the pursuit of excellence enriches every aspect of your life and will bring endless rewards.