Why Perfectionism is Far from Perfect

For years, I believed that the ultimate goal in life is to achieve perfection. Perfect body, perfect hair, perfect grades, perfect life decisions, etc. This ideal has been created by a flawed world that has a false sense of happiness. I can tell you right now that perfectionism is far from perfect.

Perfectionism is a weakness. I never knew how much the burden of trying to be perfect weighed on my mind and my heart. It is all consuming. It is an idol. It takes over your everyday thoughts and makes you feel less than. We worship the idea of being in control and everything being...well...perfect. I am here to tell you that perfection is pretty much impossible to obtain.

We are right in the middle of the fall semester, and you probably just finished a long week of midterms, and writing endless papers that don’t feel remotely related to anything you’re interested in doing the rest of your life. You probably also second guessed every answer on that test, and every word you typed in that paper, desiring it to be nothing but perfect in order to get that ‘A’. If you’re a perfectionist, you’re probably meticulous and detail oriented, and want everything to be organized. When you were a kid you probably spent twice as long on an art project than the other kids so you could make sure you submitted your best work. You might not have realized how taxing this can be on your brain, let alone the brain of a young kid.

As I got older I noticed my “perfectionist tendencies” seep into my workplace, and the relationships around me. Now, instead of just wanting that ‘A’, I was constantly evaluating my every word and every move to make sure I got it right. And if I didn’t, that is when the dwelling and overthinking would take over. When we strive for perfection, we put this false thought in our heads that perfection is possible to obtain. In theory, perfectionism sounds great. But in reality, it puts an unnecessary pressure to amount to what the world defines as “perfect.” Perfectionism isn’t perfect. It is exhausting. It is a burden that is heavy and only carries temporary contentment. We live in a generation that lives off of instant gratification and satisfaction. You are not defined by your level of perfection, you are you. Be you, not this skewed image of the “perfect” person the world wants you to be. We need to recognize that mistakes happen in order for us to learn, they are not an indication of failure.