ADdicted to excellence?

Want to be better? You can’t always be the best. For some of you out there, this is the unbearable truth. Perfectionism is not just a personal opinion, but a personality trait which may impact your wellbeing while trying to do your best.

There are so many paths to get there and for some reason, at times it feels as if you chose the toughest journey. Why does anxiety take you away from the present moment and leaves you struggling in the uncertain future?

If you would like to understand the perfectionistic mindset, first notice how anticipation comes into play. In order to regulate our behaviour and better invest the mental energy we need to plan ahead. Perfectionistic people, are concerned about the future and tend to invest more energy while planning, which may actually slow them down or hinder their mental resources. No wonder they are more likely to doubt their actions or end up dissatisfied after a hard day of work.

It’s true, we do take pleasure from our efforts. But can we get addicted to excellence and therefore desire perfection all the time? If perfectionism was a product, would you buy into it?

Quality guaranteed

Pride yourself on your level of knowledge and skills. It is sure worth the effort. This is the only way forward. There are no better options in life, trust yourself, you got what it takes, quality guaranteed. You’re simply the best!

Striving for flawlessness can become a race against imperfection. It’s in our nature to fail, as learning is not an option but a requirement for survival. Once you learn to be judgmental in everything you do, performance is a must and the perfectionism paradox will sure bias your focus. The more you are striving for perfection, the more likely you are to feel exhausted and lose track. Failure guaranteed.

In high demand

Subjective data “shows” that most of us need to struggle for living the good life. Best options are in high demand, and only few can even dare to try. Will you stay on-task?

As you know, everyone is good at something, but no one can do everything. Most complex skills take time to be refined. If you want to become an expert, then spreading yourself thin is not the best option. Once you find fulfilment along the way, the level of effort becomes proportional to your satisfaction.

In psychology, we can look at effort from different angles. Mental perceptions, physical demands or the emotional balance are relevant when engaging in any given task. At the same time, if you want to make progress, you might want to improve the strategy or increase your endurance, and all this in a more timely manner.

man at laptop looking stressed

Setting high standards in everything you are doing is a guaranteed mental set-up for disappointment. If anxiety persists there must be a good reason. Burnout is in low demand. Still available now. However, don’t be afraid to strive for the better, as your concerns will never lead the way.

Like no other

Want to have a fulfilling career, outstanding results and countless awards under your belt? Here comes an opportunity like no other. It’s time to stay focused. Unique outcomes, top quality traits and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do your best.

Nowadays you are more likely to compare yourself to others than ever before. Perfectionism is socially prescribed, and if you are among those who enjoy placing unrealistic standards of perfection on others, or feel as if other people have used unrealistic standards hoping to push you forward, then this section is for you. Joking aside, external constraints can be more damaging than internal ones, as they may undermine your skills, interests or potential. “Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?” (Danielle LaPorte).

woman facing herself in a broken mirror

When perfectionism is self-imposed, we may see it through narcissistic lens, as the desire to be perfect would make one feel different or even unique. This is most obvious in pathologies such as eating disorders or body dysmorphic disorder, where the main cause for dissatisfaction comes from unrealistic comparisons with outstanding social models.

Limited availability

Are you concerned about friends, hobbies or vacations and won’t let anything stand in your way? Don’t wait any longer, the best results are only available to those who struggle. Once the deadline is due, you should be done!

man floating in the air on his back

One of the most convincing arguments to give up perfectionism is the sense of loss. It’s not just about losing your peace of mind, but the work-life balance can be just as important. If you concentrate too much on doing things better, you might as well realise that better is not always great in the long run.

If at times you feel as if some of the most meaningful opportunities have passed you by, then perhaps you are not living “the perfect life”. Perfectionism expands it’s roots in all areas of life and so we may strive to achieve perfect emotions, perfect work outcomes or perfect parenting styles.

If at some point you struggle with letting go, remember, simplicity is bliss. Take satisfaction from your efforts and embrace your imperfections. This is what makes you human.

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