On the surface, being a “perfectionist” is considered a good thing. But when you really dig deeper, it’s really just another obstacle standing in your way.
Think about perfection in music. First of all, what’s a perfect practice session or performance? Is it playing every note right? Getting every beat? “Perfect” goals like this lead to the most mechanical (a.k.a. boring) performances ever.
We’re not robots.
Truth is, you only get better through learning experiences. That means messing up. A LOT.
Practice is problem solving and if you’re perfect, there is no problem is there? There’s no reason to even practice! The very act of practicing is admitting you aren’t perfect. We learn through mistakes and if you’re “perfect” you’ll be afraid to even make one in the first place.
It’s the same idea as getting an A+. Does that mean you learned the material? Raise your hand if you ever walked out of a classroom the day you took a test and immediately forgot everything you studied for. But if you did remember, maybe it’s because you enjoyed the class and took time to learn the material well instead of aiming for a “perfect” test score.
We’re not meant to be perfect, and if you don’t feel that way you won’t be happy. “Perfectionism” is a road to feeling inadequate for the rest of your life.
But the worst reason for perfectionism is this: it gives you an excuse to quit. You’ll never finish that project or accomplish your goal because it will never be perfect. And if you’re waiting for the perfect situation or circumstances you probably won’t even start!
So realize you aren’t perfect, never will be, and aren’t meant to be. You’re actually “perfect” just the way you are.