Many people are perfectionists and choose to be for various reasons; undoubtedly, we could debate the pros and cons of perfectionism indefinitely. However, in my book, The Power of Emotion, I illustrate emotional intelligence insights on this important topic.
THE POWER OF EMOTION | CHAPTER 17 | OVERVIEW
Why Perfectionism Shouldn't Be Something to Strive For
From experience, I know there is a high price to pay when being ‘perfect’ is the goal.
Is Perfectionism a Weakness?
The need to be perfect is rising, and it's hurting our young people. There is growing evidence indicating perfectionism is causing severe depression and anxiety disorders.
In 2018, a worldwide study of almost 42,000 young people found perfectionism had increased over the past 27 years. The study stated that "striving to be perfect is not overly beneficial for employees and has significant costs for employees and organizations." Clearly, this is not good news!
How Trying to be Perfect Impacted Me
I agree with the study; striving for perfection can be harmful. I have been there and done that! If you are a perfectionist, I understand what you are going through. For many years, I was so proud to view myself as a perfectionist. In my view, this was an important attribute that distinguished me from others. It positively impacted my success; I hit so many work and personal goals and treasured the rewards during that time.
But, here's the thing, being perfect is not possible. I remain on my journey to excellence. Through my new book, The Power of Emotion, I share my ups and downs of my perfectionist behaviour.
How to Change Your Focus and Perfectionist Behaviour
It's hard to comprehend how striving to be perfect could be harmful. Often people strive for perfection out of fear of failure and rarely celebrate their accomplishments, which affects their quality of life. Whatever the reason that drives them to be a perfectionist, it's not healthy or sustainable; they must shift their focus to achieve a joyful life.
I strongly recommend changing your mindset towards excellence. A change in behaviour takes time, but as you become more self-aware, you will increase your emotional intelligence and be on a path to excellence.
Our self-improvement journey is ours, and it begins with:
- Allowing ourselves to fail and learn from our mistakes – that's how we grow.
- Learning to love and accept our non-perfect self.
- Working consistently on strategies towards achievable outcomes. I demonstrate many more examples in my book.
Moving away from perfectionism has been a challenge without question. Once I recognized the disadvantages of this behaviour, I realized that perfection is irrelevant. If I focus on excellence, I am much more content.
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