Why Perfectionism (Mostly) Sucks

This of perfection and ideals of aesthetic beauty, high grades or something as simple as design symmetry might spring to mind. But of course, the idea of perfection around ever-changing, multi-layered, complex and unknown quantities of life causes problems. The main one? The moving goalposts of what it would actually mean to be perfect. Everyone's got different ideas.


Perfectionism, in its unhealthy state, is linked to low self-esteem, a need to prove oneself, self-criticism, feelings of failure, control, overworking, over-whelm and apathy. Any of those sound familiar? Individual ideas of perfection often form at an early age, continuing into the projections of the ways we think we should look, think or be to receive validation, or would gift us a sense of balance and completion. This might take form as your 'ideal' self or, a toxic ego.


Now, in some ways, this carrot and the stick tempting forward of perfectionism can have its benefits. In measured doses, it may be constructive, inspiring us forward toward answers and a result, key to developing resilience. However, this is better applied in practical terms than to human beings, speed of learning, personal development - essentially anything that doesn’t have esteem that can be dented or lies beyond our control. Oh. So, that’s almost everything.