Are You A Perfectionist?
Are you one of those folks who can’t be happy unless things are perfect? Thinking this way can be this way can be very bad for your mental health. When you’re a perfectionist, especially about yourself or your body, nothing is ever good enough. No matter how hard you try, you fall short of your lofty and unreasonable goals. Then face the disappointment of failing, yet again, to be perfect. But here is a not-so-secret revelation: no one is perfect. Not one person in the history of humanity has ever been “perfect,” because perfection doesn’t exist at least not for long. Furthermore, it’s subjective; different people have different ideas of what might be perfect.
Perfectionists may always be let down by their expectations. Realists, on the other hand, are aware that they’ll never be perfect. However, they still strive to be something: better. Realists are able to acknowledge that they will never attain the ideal of perfection, but they also know that they can always improve. Improving means taking steps in the direction of your “perfect,” but rather than being upset when you don’t get there, you feel satisfied that you got closer. It will make you feel more successful and more happy, and you will be able to look at life as a journey throughout which you can strive to be the best person possible.
Mark Twain said, “Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.” I think he’s said it well. He might also have said that perfection will have to wait until the next life. How can you be happy if your happiness relies on achieving the unachievable? You condemn yourself to a life of consistent disappointment. Pity the spouses and children of the perfectionist. The same unrealistic standards the perfectionist burdens himself or herself with are invariably applied to spouses and children. A disfunctional family then is the result of one member having a dis-functional premise of needing to be “perfect.”
Nobody is perfect but everyone can get better.