The Imperfect Perfection.
Start writing a post
Student Life

The 5 Ideals Of An Imperfect Perfectionist

How perfection can hinder progress and how to fix it.

82
The 5 Ideals Of An Imperfect Perfectionist
https://unsplash.com/photos/IiEFmIXZWSw

I've been a perfectionist all my life. If I set my alarm to 5:00 in the morning, I force myself to get out of bed by 5:01. If I'm working on math homework, I can't move on to the next problem until I master the one that I'm on. When I can't do something exactly as planned, I often just accept failure and give up. I avoid the task instead of trying to get better at it. Does this sound like you? If so, you're probably a perfectionist as well. Being a perfectionist may lead to success, but it often hinders progress at the same time.

It's completely irrational to expect that change will happen overnight, but as a perfectionist, I seek immediate excellence. I don't want there to be any room for improvement and I don't want to try again later. This is a problem because the important things in life require hard work, dedication, and perseverance. These attributes eventually lead to perfection but require slow and steady progress.

There's a prominent quote by Voltaire that highlights this issue: "Perfect is the enemy of good." It's similar to the Confucius quote: "Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without." Here are three techniques that I used to destroy my perfectionism and appreciate the power of progress.

1. Control Your Actions, Not Your Results.

https://unsplash.com/photos/KE0nC8-58MQ

Perfectionism places a big emphasis on results. It can be very de-motivating to work solely for results. In fact, hard work doesn't always produce the desired result. Accepting the fact that you can't control the result, but you can always control your actions helped me embrace progress a lot more. I used to put off writing articles (like this one) because I wouldn't be super passionate about the topic. Now, I accept the fact that every article I write won't be my best one, but the act of writing will make me a better writer in the long run.

2. Be Compassionate To Yourself.

https://unsplash.com/photos/NTyBbu66_SI

Perfectionists are way too hard on themselves. There's no need to beat yourself up about not doing something exactly the way you intended to. A few months ago, I had a goal to workout five days a week every week. I would get so mad at myself if I could only squeeze in two or three workouts in a week. This mindset has absolutely no benefits and leads to disappointment. It's important to be kind to yourself and realize that simply trying your best is a reason to be proud.

3. Trust The Process.

https://unsplash.com/photos/X6CZGpJBi8U

Accept the fact that perfection is unattainable. Progress is not always linear and there is always room for improvement. Learn to appreciate the gray area.

4. Time Is Of The Essence.

https://unsplash.com/photos/ft0-Xu4nTvA

Perfectionism often leads to wasted time. There are only 24 hours in a day. Do you really want to spend the majority of your time trying to get from a 95% to a 100%?

5. Don’t Fear Failure.

https://unsplash.com/photos/un1s8VOLRC0

Perfectionism and procrastination often go hand in hand. I will avoid doing something simply because I'm scared that I might fail. In reality, failure is not usually as big of a deal as we make it seem in our minds. Who cares if I try to run a 10K and end up having to walk most of the race? Failing isn't the enemy - giving up is.

All that matters is that you're better today than you were yesterday. The rest is just part of the journey.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Pexels

As the holiday season draws nearer, many of us find ourselves drawn to the same old Rankin-Bass Christmas specials and the perennial favorite, "A Charlie Brown Christmas." However, I would like to suggest an overlooked alternative, "Arthur's Perfect Christmas." It is a heartfelt, funny, and surprisingly inclusive Christmas special that deserves more recognition.

Keep Reading... Show less
Reclaim Your Weekends From The 'Sunday Scaries' With 'Self-Love Sundays' Instead
Olivia DeLucia

Laid back and taking it easy — sometimes that is the motto we all need after a busy week. Sunday scaries? Yes, they are valid – but you know what else is? A Sunday full of self-love. A lazy Sunday spent doing what you feel needs to be done to ease into the next week. Self-Love Sundays are a guilty pleasure that isn't only essential for our mind, and body, but are also a surprisingly proactive way to devote the upcoming week with a clear mindset.

So, what is a more suitable way to dedicate your week's end than a beautifully, connected playlist to accompany your face masks and journaling? Cheers, to a Self-Love Sunday (and a playlist intertwined with it to match). (Please note: "Sunday Morning" isn't included in this list, due to the obvious, but feel free to blast it anyway, we know you want to).

Keep Reading... Show less
Sunset Girl

The sun rose and peeked through the sheer curtains. Rose’s alarm shrieked. The loud bells caused her phone to jump on the side table. It was time for her to get ready for church. Blindly reaching for her phone, she shut the alarm off and pulled at the covers providing her a cocoon of warmth and tossed them to the side. She swept her bare feet across the bed to touch the cool wooden floor.

Rose softly tiptoed to the corner of the bedroom to grab her clothes dangling on the arm of the bedroom chair. Scooping all of the items of her chosen outfit, she headed to the bathroom hoping that she wouldn’t drop anything.

Round, piercing blue eyes stared back at her in the bathroom mirror. Rose fingered the wrinkles forming around her eyes. So many of them bore signs of laughter and smiling. Slowly dropping her hands, she couldn’t remember the last time she laughed in her home with Tom. Shaking her head as if to erase the negative thoughts, she reached for her makeup bag and went through her regular routine.

Applying her favorite deep rose lipstick, Rose headed downstairs to make her coffee and bagel to take with her to church. The smell of dark-roast coffee swirled in the air as Rose sliced her cinnamon raisin bagel. Hearing the Keurig sputter with the fresh brew, Rose found the interruption of the stillness comforting. The toaster signaled that her bagel was done with a soft pop. It had a delicious golden brown color. Placing the bagel on the counter, she generously spread honey nut flavored cream cheese across both halves. Gathering her bible, notebook, and pens from the side table on the porch she stuffed them into her purse. Purse hanging on her right shoulder she juggled her coffee and bagel in both of her hands as she headed to the garage.

Keep Reading... Show less
Environment

This Holiday Season, Choose To Be Eco-friendly And Reduce Pollution

Many of us have old magazines lying around, fully read and not of much use anymore. However, we can use their bright colors and prints as a stylish and trendy wrapping paper!

993
Presents

It can be overwhelming to see the detrimental effects of climate change and pollution on the news, from animals dying and forest fires spreading, but there are smaller changes that we can all make to reduce our carbon footprint, and it begins with our gifting season.

On average, Americans throw 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Years, which translates to 25 million tons of garbage. That's 1 million extra tons per week.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

This Feeling Hurts

A Poem on Love

2604
Ronny Salerno

This feeling hurts. I must declare

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments