Perfection Vs Striving to Do Our Best


Is there a difference between striving to do our best and being a perfectionist? I would say yes, and it can been outlined by the varying impacts it has on us and on those around us.


Someone who strives to do their best accepts that in doing so they may fail and that's o.k. They understand that if they fail it is not a reflection of who they are i.e. they failed at 'x' they themselves are not a failure. They may be afraid of being criticised or judged if they fail but they go ahead and do it anyway, committed to learning, getting help when they need it, focusing on the bigger picture and believing they are doing their best and that others want them to succeed. They have high standards but they accept that it's something to continue to work towards Vs an end state.


The impact on others can be that they recognise 'it's o.k. to fail' as long as I'm striving for my best, learning and improving. They are more likely to help you and to ask for help when they need it. Their confidence and belief, in you and in themselves, increases. They become more resourceful vs waiting for you to tell them what & how to do it.


Perfectionists on the other hand tend not to see failure as an option and if they do fail they take it personally and vow to be perfect next time. They rarely ask others for help. Often they can't see that getting it done is more important than pefect, not considering that all that additional effort for that last 5% improvement could be spent on something else. They tend not to delegate well for fear that those they rely on may fail (reflecting on them) which in turn means those people become less resourceful, less committed to improving themselves. They may even start to doubt their ability and lose confidence in themselves as they worry about coming up short of the perfectionists expectations.


A lot of energy - mental, emotional and physical, goes into perfectionism. It can and will take it's toll on us as individuals but also on those around us.


Believe that you are doing your best and that you are so much more than success or failure. Trust that others want you to succeed, they want to help and that they themselves are striving to do their best. We are all perfectly imperfect.


Ask yourself - Will being perfect make a difference to the overall goal/result vs the effort required to make it so? Will taking over the tasks you set someone else really take more time then explaining and teaching? How is trying to be perfect impacting the important relationships in your life and what one thing can you change right now?

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