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

Five Types Of People In Fall

From yummy pumpkin spice lattes to scary movies, fall has it all and then some.

72
Destination Logan County Illinois

Oh fall, the most marvelous time of year...right? Every approaches fall differently, some pumpkin spice-tastically and some not so enthusiastically. We can't all be Autumn lovers, so here are five types of people in fall. Grab a cup of hot coca, sit back, and enjoy.

Keep Reading... Show less
https://unsplash.com/photos/XdbUsFkAwqA

If you're like me, by this time of year you're over summer. The beach, the sunshine, and the heat were all great, but now we're itching for blanket scarves, football, and pumpkin spice EVERYTHING! As the new season approaches, your relationship can benefit from some old traditional dates and some new fresh ideas! Here are a couple great date ideas for you and your boo to try out this fall.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

Social Media Or Soul Media

To the generation that cares way too much about affirmation.

2921
Emma Smith
  • This semester I am taking the ever so famous class, Writing 101. Walking into it, I had heard the horror stories about each major assignment. I have to admit, it’s not a class that I am fond of. But, major assignment #2 got me thinking, we had to create a research question based off of a topic that we are interested in.

Two weeks prior, I watched a very interesting documentary on Netflix. Miss Representation was recommended to me by one of my friends and I have to say the topic is absolutely mind blowing. Social Media and Female Body Image. How Social Media makes girls see this unnatural perfection of ‘beauty’ that really doesn’t exist. But female body image isn’t the only thing affected by social media.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Sex And The Church

A letter to fellow believers.

4204
Amanda Hayes
  • I know many of you just read that title and thought it was scandalous to see something so “risque” in the same setting as something holy. Well guess what – sex is part of that. Everyone seems to think they are separate, which makes since because most people treat them as though they are complete polar opposites. Shall we think this through?

Who created the Church body? God. Who created the body? Also God. If we know God to be the creator of all things, we cannot leave sex out of that equation. God created sex, people! Praise Him! Like all great things, the world has twisted and perverted it. The world has stained it so badly that even many church congregations see it only as stained and keep quiet about that part of God’s word. Many people know that God told Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28), but a lot of people overlook the entirety of Song of Solomon. The entire book is dedicated to telling of the love and sex between man and wife. God blessed us with the gift of intimacy, one to be shared between husband and wife. Church if we teach of sex as the blessing that it is, more people will start treating it as such. If we stop viewing sex as this unspeakable act, the temptation would be lessened. With the fall of man, humans naturally desire things they should not have. So if more people speak of it with gladness and praise, and do not hide it in the darkness as if it were vile, fewer people would be drawn to it for the wrong reasons. More people would appreciate it for what it is: a gift from God.

Keep Reading... Show less
Tumblr

Chick-fil-A, I love you.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments