The Dark Side Of Perfectionism

“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” 

Salvador Dali

We are always thriving for perfection. We always hate it when things do not go as they should. We try our best to choose the perfect decision that does not have any downside. However, trying to reach perfection is like trying to reach the end of the rainbow, it is just a mental illusion. But trying to be perfect is surely a good thing, isn’t it? Trying to find the best of everything is what will make me feel better, it will make me better, right? Not.

Being perfect will cause you take less risks in your life, what the fun in life if there is no risks? How many times you have refused to do something just because you did not think it was perfect for you or the people around you. I am not saying you should take whatever risk you face, if it is irrational, do not do it. But if you know if the risk you are taking will bring you so much, then do it, even if it is not perfect. If it is perfect, it is not a risk.

Since you are falling for this idea of perfection, you will never feel satisfied or happy. You will never feel that you have achieved anything, even if you have done so much. You will never find any happiness for what is yours, because you either want more, or what you have is not perfect. We have been fed the idea of being perfect, watching all the those people living the perfect life we have always wanted. Those people are just performers, they are doing an act, it is not real. There is an Arabic saying:
“Contentment is a treasure that never perishes”.
Try to lose your bitterness to this imperfect world.

But why I am talking about perfectionism in a blog about anxiety? How are they related?

Trying to be perfect is an anxiety inducing. It makes you think so much, and do too little. It puts you in an anxious state of mind that, for someone with an anxiety disorder, will make their life even worse. Even if you are not suffering with any anxiety disorder, trying to be perfect will cause you to be anxious, and will limit your actions. Anxiety comes whenever your brain senses danger, if it counts any imperfect action you are about to make as danger, you will always live in fear of doing anything.

I faced this issue a lot while I am trying to take a decision in work. Working as a software developer, sometimes my decisions are hard to reverse, I get really anxious when for example I need to choose what technologies I need to use in order to build a certain product. I take too much time researching and asking, writing cons and pros lists, it takes so much effort. Whenever I feel the time of the decision has come nearer, I get so anxious.
“What if it does not work?”
“What if there is a better solution?”
“What if my decision will cause a lot of troubles?”
Then I remember that my decision will never be perfect, it will cause troubles, and there might be a better solution. But it is the risk that I have to make in order to proceed.

Start by taking small risks that you feel you can do, try to teach your brain that being perfect is unreachable, so you would rather be content with whatever happens to you. My life is not perfect, and it will never be. But, it is mine.

2 thoughts on “The Dark Side Of Perfectionism

  1. Amin

    I can relate to being unable to progress in certain tasks for the sake of perfectionism, and failing to take action because of risks.
    Thank you for sharing.


  2. this is ironic, but i just finished reading all your posts, and I think I wanted to read them all in one shot coz of this perfectionistic tendencies ! anyhow, the work decisions hits home really hard.


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