Photo by Jon Ly on Unsplash
Without even knowing you, I know that you’re a perfectionist trying to create a better life. You want to improve your relationship, lifestyle, and optimize your morning routine to be extremely productive.
But no matter how hard you try, nothing seems to work. You’re left wanting more, and for every aspect of your life to improve.
Michael Law said it best: “At its root, perfectionism isn’t really about a deep love of being meticulous. It’s about fear. Fear of making a mistake. Fear of disappointing others. Fear of failure. Fear of success.”
Aim For Excellence.
As a self-development junkie, I can relate on a profound level. I was always focused on improving my relationships, being more productive in the mornings, and finding the perfect partner to spend the rest of my life with. However, the very concept of trying to find the perfect partner prevented me from seeing the beauty in people’s flaws.
I now believe that striving for perfection is delusional, as nothing will ever be good enough. Instead, we should aim for excellence because imperfection allows us to grow.
In other words, we should strive to be the best we can be today as that’s all that matters. Just think about how often you implement perfectionism in your life:
- Many people spend 45 minutes writing an email, over-analyzing every word until it’s perfect.
- Most of us procrastinate because we’re waiting for the right moment to start a task, or work on a project.
- A lot of people don’t want to leave their home each day until their makeup is perfect, and their outfit looks incredible.
- A lot of people seem to be afraid to enter a relationship because “it’s not the right time.”
- Many people are afraid to ask out their crush because they’re unsure what to say, and don’t want to ruin the moment by being socially awkward. Once again, this is just perfectionism in disguise.
You get the idea. Instead of helping you achieve a higher standard of living, perfectionism often makes you feel like you’re not good enough.
So How Do You Stop Chasing Perfection?
We spend our entire lives looking at the lives of other people wishing we could be like them. Yet we often don’t see the sleepless nights, fractured relationships, and continual adversity people go through to achieve their current level of success. Jordan Peterson said it best:
“Compare yourself with who you were yesterday, not with who someone else is today.”
What he’s saying is that perfectionism and constantly comparing your progress to other people will drown your dreams in jealousy. Instead, a better strategy is to make small improvements in comparison to your past, so you can create a better future.
I’m going to leave you with a quote from Epictetus, who beautifully said: “the more we value things outside of our control, the less control we have.”
He’s right. Stop comparing yourself to others and focus solely on improving yourself.
That’s all that matters.