Do Not Try To Be Perfect
“Perfection’ is man’s ultimate illusion. It simply doesn’t exist in the universe…. If you are a perfectionist, you are guaranteed to be a loser in whatever you do.”- David D. Burns
Perfection is considered to be a state of flawlessness. Everybody wants perfection and the desire to be perfect burdens everybody and it leads almost to unhappiness. We are social animals and we have many advantages over other animals. It is human nature to improve more and more. As an individual we seek perfection but it is sensitive to the judgments of others. In fact, these judgments are most often imagined. Everyone has an opinion, but elevating someone else’s opinion to the status of being a judge is really silly. After all, someone else can’t really judge you unless you confer upon him or her the power of being a judge.
In today’s fast pace and hectic schedules most of us are lost and have an unwanted level of anxiety, stress, and unhappiness. We may not even realize it, but this tendency to get sucked into the past and the future can leave us constantly worn out and feeling out of touch with self. Author Myrko Thum says,
“The present moment is the only thing where there is no time. It is the point between past and future. It is always there and it is the only point we can access in time. Everything that happens, happens in the present moment. Everything that ever happened and will ever happen can only happen in the present moment. It is impossible for anything to exist outside of it.”
In extreme case of perfectionism, individual is so toxic that desire for his success and his adhered grip that his failure may sometimes lead him to negative orientation.
Perfectionism And Health
In 2006, Danielle Molnar, of Brock University in Canada, examined the perfectionism-health link in nearly 500 Canadian adults between the ages of 24 and 35.
The study assessed participants for three different dimensions of perfectionism: self-oriented perfectionism, in which individuals impose high standards on themselves; socially prescribed perfectionism, where individuals feel others expect them to be perfect; and other-oriented, in which individuals place high standards on others. People experience these perfectionist traits to varying degrees. One person might score high on all three, or they might fall into one extreme or another such as self-oriented perfectionism.
The researchers found socially prescribed perfectionism was associated with poorer physical health, which in this case meant individuals experienced more symptoms of health problems, had more doctors’ visits, took more days off work, and gave themselves low scores when asked to rate their health. On the other hand, self-oriented perfectionism was associated with better physical health.
One factor could be the degree to which people feel happy or sad, known in psychology as positive or negative affect. The 2006 paper showed general negative feelings, including feeling anxious and upset, could partially explain the relationship they saw between socially prescribed perfectionism and poorer health. And feelings of happiness explained self-oriented perfection’s link with better health. However, the pathway that connects perfectionism to health is likely more complex. For instance, in more recent research, Molnar found self-imposed perfectionism conferred pros and cons with regard to health that canceled each other out.
“On one hand it was related to higher levels of stress in students, which was related to lower levels of health,” Molnar said. “On the other hand, it had a protective factor, because it was also related to lower levels of high-risk behavior,” which includes things such as smoking and drinking.
“You really have to look at the mechanism, not just looking at how perfectionism is directly related to health, but what pathways link it to health?” Molnar said. “Unless you look at the mechanism, a lot of the time [the effect] washes itself out because it will have opposing relationships.”
Perfection is relative term. Perfect status for one may not be perfect status for another.
1. Meticulous and perfectionist fall prey to schizophrenia.
2. Perfection is not real because what may be perfect to you may not be perfect to someone else.