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.

80
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.
Featured

Slavery Was NOT Abolished

Jeevti from Pakistan would like to tell you so herself.

733
Standard.net

Unfortunately, at this time of year, we tend to overlook how incredibly blessed we are. We live in a free world, where we should not have to fear being penalized for our gender, sexual orientation, beliefs, or values. This is a fact we take for granted; in many other countries, simply being born female makes you an immediate target.

Keep Reading... Show less
Melisa Im

My Ethnicity

Hispanic is not a race... it’s an ethnicity. The term Hispanic describes a group of people whose common thread is language and/or culture. I’m a Hispanic woman born in Argentina to Korean parents. I self-identify as Hispanic/Latina and my personal experiences can’t be summarized by the color of my skin or the languages on my tongue. That is because every single person in the universe has a unique experience. Whether someone labels me as Korean or Argentine or American, that will never change my experiences as a Spanish speaker, immigrant, child of divorced parents, Californian, college graduate (Go Bears!), omnivore, writer, or any other label I choose for myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

When In Nashville

Here's some things you could do.

4573
Kaitlyn Wells

I have had the opportunity to visit so many places in my lifetime, and recently one of those places was Nashville, Tennessee. There is so much to do and see in Nashville but here are some of my favorites that I would highly recommend.

Keep Reading... Show less
Your Work Week As Told By Michael Scott And Stanley Hudson

"The Office" is basically the best American TV show created in the past 15 years (you can fight me on this). And through all its hilarity and cringe-worthy "that would never happen in real life" moments, the show really does have a lot of relatable themes, as can be seen by the little compilation I put together of Michael Scott and Stanley Hudson.

Keep Reading... Show less
October Is Overrated, Let's Just Accept This Fact

I have never liked the month of October. I like the fall weather and the beginning of wearing sweaters in the crisp fall air, but I never associated this with the month of October.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments