OP: There is no need to strive for perfection

13 November 2018

Avi Petrucci

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“You’re not perfect, and everything isn’t always going to be perfect. It’s okay; let it go” is a mantra I’ve often had to repeat to myself when I become worried about not being a superhero –– when I’m worried I could have done better, presented myself better or fit in better.

I’ll be the first to fully admit that I still struggle with the idea of not being perfect, but I’m hoping that through writing this, I can inspire at least some of our readers (and maybe further convince myself) that there is no need to strive for perfection, especially if it means sacrificing your well-being. Perfection should never come at the cost of yourself.

In an article from news.com, counselor and therapist, Jacqueline Stone, reports that she has seen a recent increase in men and women who are obsessed with being perfect –– “There is a pressure to do more, to know more and to be more than ever before.”

In this article, Stone continues on to mention that the pressure to be perfect only continues to grow over time if an individual doesn’t take a step back and examine their life and that the failure to form a second opinion often leads to a decrease in health.

Amanda Ruggeri for BCC News provides research in her article, “The Dangerous Downsides of Perfectionism” that supports this claim. Through her research she found that striving for perfection can often limit one’s self-growth and lead to a variety of adverse health effects, including depression, insomnia, anxiety and even suicide.

Although I have never experienced any of the negative effects that can stem from trying to be perfect, I have noticed that it has held me back from living my life.

There are days when I have fallen into a funk after finding out that I got a high B on an assignment instead of an A, when I’ve noticed that I’m not putting in as much work at the gym as I did the day before, when I am introduced to new people and don’t think I look as put together as I should be.

Detrimental thoughts like these hold me back from truly being proud of, or enjoying myself in certain moments.

If you occasionally experience thoughts like these too, there are a few things that Psychology Today suggests trying that have helped me and can hopefully help you as well. In further detail, an article titled “How to Let Go of the Need to Be Perfect” Dr. Ilene Strauss Cohen, proposes that you learn to let go, build self-reliance, change your mindset and make peace with the “now” before you feel satisfied with the “later.”

If you find that none of these practices work for you, try to remember the one thing that always seem to help me: I am me, you are you, and that is enough.