What does the word perfect mean to you? If you ask someone they may give a different answer to your own. One person may immediately think of a beautiful body, so beautiful that it has no flaws. Another person may think of a diamond, completely flawless in its appearance. Another person may think of their desired life or personal position.
Whatever you give as your meaning, we hope it is one based on reality and not unrealistic impressions or goals, because striving to be perfect can be harmful in so many ways.
Reasons Why You Need to Stop Aiming for Perfection
The constant need for perfection can be dangerous, and have adverse effects on your health. If you realize that you are always striving for perfection, we’re here to tell you that it’s about time to stop.
Here’s how perfectionism can be harmful to you:
It Leads to Mental and Physical Health Issues
Striving to be perfect all the time can put a strain on your mental and physical health. Perfectionism can lead to a long list of health problems. It causes much more than just making people depressed and anxious.
Perfectionistic teenagers are especially vulnerable to mental health issues as they try to fit in and please their peers. It can even lead to suicidal thoughts if they believe they can’t live up to other people’s expectations.
Perfectionism can lead to insomnia, eating disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic headaches, and digestive disorders. It can also lead to chronic stress, adrenal fatigue, a weakened immune system, elevated blood pressure levels, and can increase the risk of a heart attack.
It Hurts Your Productivity
When you’re very focused on perfection, you tend to be less productive. You may be so focused on perfection that it leads to procrastination, which causes a project to take a longer time than expected. Instead of getting things done, you may feel you need to go over everything again, for the nth time, to ensure that it is planned perfectly, right down to the smallest detail.
You may not have even started anything at all because you are still waiting for the right moment. Or you will start right after you finish another project you want to do, but you can’t start that one yet either. You’re waiting for what? It will never be the right time if you don’t make it right. Unfortunately, if you wait too long, the opportunity for getting things done may slip past you.
This is a drain on productivity. Don’t let perfectionism be the cause of procrastination that will hurt your productivity and become a vicious circle of self-hatred.
It Makes You Feel You Are Never Good Enough
Perfectionism makes you regret every small mistake you have ever made. You beat yourself up for minor errors because you believe that you could have avoided them. You are forever saying I’m sorry. You find it very hard to forgive yourself. You put a lot of blame on yourself for past mistakes and it affects you mentally. You feel that you are never good enough and that you could have always done something better.
Perfectionism can also make you expect too much from other people. You may have extremely high standards and impossible expectations. Unfortunately, instead of attracting great people and partners in your life, you are most likely driving them away. They cannot live up to your level of perfectionism and feel overwhelmed.
So they move on. As a result, you become sadder – which is the opposite of the happiness you were hoping for. You don’t understand why because you are being as perfect as you can be. Shouldn’t they appreciate that in you? The answer is no. You make them feel inadequate and useless.
What Can You Do to Curb the Harmful Effects of Perfectionism?
When you find yourself trapped in the rabbit hole of perfectionism, stop digging. Don’t let it consume you. To counter the effects of perfectionism, it’s time to start doing the following.
- Ideally, embrace your flaws. At least accept them!
- Forgive yourself, be kind to yourself and love yourself.
- Practice mindfulness.
- Don’t fear failure. Failure is feedback. You need to fail to succeed.
Remember, you are good enough, and you don’t need to be perfect to be loved and respected. Don’t waste your time living up to the expectations of other people. Stop spending your time trying to please everyone. Perfectionism is not sustainable, and it can exhaust you. Quiet your mind and relax your body so that you will feel less stressed, and you will become healthier in every way.
When you accept your imperfections and see them from a different perspective, you will notice how liberating they can be. You can turn your flaws into opportunities for growth and developing your self-worth. You will feel freer and happier, knowing that you don’t need other people’s approval.
When you stay genuine, you will attract in your life the right people whom you can have meaningful connections and relationships with. That could be the key to real happiness.