Perfectionism and Stress

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Perfectionism and Stress

Perfection is a goal that humans should not strive to achieve because it can prompt a crippling condition or an overly critical self-evaluation.

A goal of excellence can be reached. But perfectionism, the striving for flawlessness and setting excessively high standards, is too often a burden.

A focus on perfection has opened pathways, for many young people in particular, to live with the idea that they have to be perfect for people to accept them—especially with young girls who develop anorexia nervosa and bulimia.

With young people as early as kindergarten age, perfectionism can become so tyrannical that they develop anxiety attacks. This leads to the thinking pattern that they cannot perform or engage in the activity because they will not be good enough. The next stage is total paralysis.

Perfectionism has people become reluctant to admit mistakes or apologize when wrong.

Failing is a natural outcome of trying, and it is a great teacher. That is, it can be if the choice is to learn from failure rather than be crushed by it.

The emphasis should always be on the effort, on trying, as a process. This positive mindset breeds a willingness to experiment, to try, to risk. This is extremely important since improvement only comes with practice.

Tip: Aim at continual improvement, not perfection.