We’ve all felt the pressure, at home, at work, in relationships – Am I doing the best? Am I perfect?

bullseye-perfectPerfectionism in life can be a way to getting things done really well and up to our and others satisfaction and adulation.
But it can also mean striving for some impossible goals and producing stress and unrealistic standards that are beyond reach.

Some questions to ponder on:

  • Does the problem lie in how others have defined perfectionism and how we perceive it?
  • If it stalls my progress, is it OK to do away with it?
  • When looking for an escape from perfectionism – what’s the right solution –
    • trying less hard being perfect,
    • or redefining perfectionism – which might mean not an ‘absolute adherence to the standards which abhor failure’?


The Fear that Sprouts from Expectations of Perfectionism

Often, in the pursuit of perfectionism we fail to even get started on our path.

For example, I have had this article stuck in my head for more than a year now, and I want it to be my best ever.
I strongly feel about that topic and I am sure I will do my absolute best when I start writing it. And, this expectation of writing that perfect article has created a huge fear bug in my mind.

Whenever I begin to think on writing it, my mind hits a virtual wall.

  • I’m not feeling that great today
  • I need to dedicate at least 4-5 hours on this article since it is to be my best.
  • I don’t have that time or that brilliant mindset today.. ..

This has happened often in the last year or so. The idea sitting at the back of my head, afraid to come up-front – just because it needs to be perfect. And it sure is scared that without a perfect setting, a perfect start, a perfect mindset, it just would not turn out perfect.

Perfectionism has been one of major reasons for procrastination in our lives or for many others who want the work done in the best possible way.


Choose Excellence over Perfectionism

But often perfectionism is a hurdle that can be overcome, not anywhere outside but within our minds.

One of the ways I have figured out to tackle this hurdle is to start without the biggest expectations you can possibly have. Just begin – the first step to fight procrastination is to shun expectations.

How about just starting it and making it perfect as we go. I can let go the unrealistic expectations of myself and start doing something – to begin – somewhere. It may be as good as I can attempt, but not “the best“.

Such a simple attitude frees me up in many ways. Of lightening the stress that builds up with larger expectations. But does that make my work any less in quality? That again depends on how much effort, focus and rework I put in. Nothing is perfect (exceptions apart), but the outcome can be made close to perfect with some iterations.

Honing on our attitude to do better at what we do now and tending toward excellence could be a better motivator than starting and ending perfect.

But then, how should we define excellence?


 Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence. ~Vince Lombardi


Ease Off the Tight Grip of Expectations


Not others’ expectations of us, but often we are more entangled by the barbs of our own mind. Letting go off this grip of self-inflicted high expectations and enjoying the flow, as it happens, is often the best way to escape the fear of failure.


What do you say? How have you approached perfectionism in what you do today or want to achieve in future?

An interesting and informative talk on What is perfectionism I stumbled upon on YouTube recently (do let me know if you know more about this talk)

What is Perfectionism: