Why Perfectionism is Self-Defeating

Written by on December 4, 2018 in Conscious Evolution, Conscious Living, Inspirational, Thrive with 0 Comments

People who suffer from perfectionism think that perfectionism leads them to better performance. They think that it pushes them to be better than they normally would be, but it is usually related to a limiting belief that they are not good enough. I know, I used to suffer from that myself!

If you look at the concept of perfection as aiming for a high standard or quality, then that is different from the fear of putting your work out into the public domain. There is nothing wrong with aiming for a high standard as long as it doesn’t paralyze you into non-action.


“Don’t wait for the perfect thought, or the perfect moment; because perfection only occurs after action.”
― Archana Chaurasia Kapoor

Many people suffer from perfectionism because they live their lives according to other people’s rules and expectations.

Having an idea of “the perfect outcome” can help you if it acts as some sort of standard that will push you to behave or perform better than you normally would. However, if your idea of what’s perfect revolves around other people’s rules and expectations, then you’ll always hold back fearing rejection, judgment or criticism.

That means you’re no longer living your life for yourself, you’re living your life for somebody else. You start living your life according to unrealistic standards that you yourself do not control. You keep trying to please others and you are no longer in charge of the process. It’s too easy to run yourself ragged.

It is not unusual for people in this situation to end up chasing their tails only to end up with a whole lot of nothing after all that time, effort, and bother. Tragic!

The truth is, standards should push you, but they shouldn’t intimidate, stress you out or overwhelm you. They shouldn’t grind you down or put you in a position where you’re going to burn out sooner rather than later.

Unfortunately, it’s very easy to feel this way if perfectionism is intended to impress others or live up to other people’s standards. It’s also very easy to do this if your pursuit of perfection is done out of some sense of obligation.


You end up being intimidated by these standards. They seem impossible and they result in under-achievement.

Instead of something that’s supposed to inspire you and push you onward and upward, they intimidate you so much that you end up discouraged and stuck, failing to take any action at all. You have unique gifts that the world needs and if you continually hold back from releasing those gifts to the world, you are depriving people of something they need and will benefit from.

Instead of being a burden, the idea of “perfection” when based on quality and high standards should put a spring in your step and add vibrancy to your daily efforts.

Standards should inspire you to create something greater and better. You know you’re dealing with the wrong standards when they make you hate yourself, doubt yourself, or otherwise grind yourself down.

It’s essential that you know the difference because perfectionism is self-defeating. You end up chasing your tail, running after shadows, and at the end of the day, even if you achieve your goals, you still feel that what you’ve created is not good enough.

If you suffer from perfectionism, examine what is at the root of it. Why do you believe your work is imperfect, or not good enough? “Perfect” doesn’t exist – we’re always developing and improving and we learn most from our mistakes and from other people’s feedback.

Don’t be afraid of failure because it is often the greatest teacher, if you’re willing to use failure as a lesson. (You might also want to read my post “How to Use Failure to Strengthen Self-Belief“)

You only truly fail when you give up, or don’t even start because of your perfectionism.

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford

If you’re suffering from perfectionism and the belief that you or your work is not good enough, apply for a free Success Strategy Session so we can identify the root cause of your beliefs and free you to move forward and fearlessly create the success you want.

Jan Shaw The Success AlchemistJan Shaw – The Success Alchemist, is a Spiritual Empowerment and Intuitive Success Coach and can be found at www.thesuccessalchemist.net. She delivers intuitive guidance, spiritual and metaphysical teaching, plus practical life and business strategies, to support you in fulfilling your Divine Soul Mission and Life Purpose and create unstoppable success in life and business. Get your FREE copy of her Dream Achievers Success Kit or apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Success Strategy SessionHer book Empowered Manifestation is available on Amazon. Visit her YouTube Channel for more tips, tools, and training to help you become unstoppable. You can also visit her Facebook Page and join her Facebook Group, Unstoppable You – Breakthrough to Brilliance. Jan also hosts the Cosmic Creating Show – listen to the recordings here.

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