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Mental Health

Why I’m Over Perfectionism

There’s a part of me that really hates writing this. Even now, my fingers hesitate to stroke the keys because writing has just become so unnerving for me. Almost every time I take to my computer nowadays, I find myself feeling frustrated, tired, and unfulfilled. No matter how much inspiration I manage to muster, most attempts at creating content tend to follow the same cycle: type, read, hate, repeat. 

I’ve been finding excuses all week to avoid writing an article, fearing the pain I now associate with the process. That was - until today - when after forcing myself to sit down and write something, that I realized perfectionism was my problem.

At some point during my college career, “perfectionist” was a characteristic I came to associate myself with. For many, this doesn't sound so bad. In fact, you’d think it’s a good thing - great even. Perfectionists are known for having ambition, a stellar work ethic, and - naturally - they must produce great results. Why wouldn’t you strive to be a perfectionist? Well, having been one myself, I can tell you that it may not be exactly what you think. In fact, it kind of sucks.


You Never Finish Anything

A perfectionist’s work is never done. You can spend days or even weeks writing a paper or practicing a speech, and it will never be enough. No matter how hard you work, there will always be more to tweak and tune. While there’s nothing wrong with pushing yourself from time to time, you’re ultimately signing yourself up for a never-ending job.

Perfection is the Enemy of Creativity

Any good artist will tell you that creativity is a messy process that requires both experimentation and error; It is the opposite of perfection. Hindering your creative side results in an inability to develop new and original ideas. You are doomed to never stand out.

You’re Never Satisfied

To be a perfectionist is to never find fulfillment in one’s work. Even when you do inevitably settle on your final draft - it’s just that - settling. You are your own worst critic, and even if you do yield spectacular results, you will only ever see what’s bad about what you produce, never what’s good. If your flaws don’t drive you crazy, your constant negative mindset will.

Perfection Doesn't Exist

No great work - made by either nature or man - can truly be labeled as “perfect.” It is a concept, not a reality. Beyond this even, it is subjective. What you seek to achieve, even if you do achieve it, won’t always necessarily translate to perfection in the eyes of another. It is simply an impossibility.

So, here I am, a perfectionist vowing before you that I will relinquish my ways. Does that mean I’m going to stop working hard or give up on my goals? Of course not. I’m still striving to be the best I can be every day, and that’s ultimately all anyone can really ask for. If anything, I feel even more empowered and even more of capable of achieving amazing things by no longer allowing myself to be confined by the limitations of perfectionism.  Embrace your perfect imperfections.

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Born and raised in Louisville, KY, Sarah came to Belmont as a member of the class of 2019. Sarah joined the Her Campus Belmont team as a chapter contributor her sophomore year and took over as President just a few months later. While you'll find her studying corporate communications and theatre during school, in her free time she enjoys hot yoga, bingeing Game of Thrones, and working to make her chapter the absolute best it can be.
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