Letting Go of Perfection

It may seem strange, but personal responsibility, blame, and criticism do have common traits with perfection. They may seem distant and abstract to each other, but they are not. Sometimes, perfectionism is the reason that blame is placed, and the reason that responsibility is not taken.

If you have perfectionist tendencies, you are less likely to take the blame for something gone wrong at your hand. It is out of your nature to be wrong or to have caused a problem, and thus, you may tend to pass the blame on to others to avoid the appearance of being imperfect.

If you have perfectionist tendencies, you may be more likely to place blame on others to deflect the situation from you. Perfectionists have a hard time admitting wrong or accepting responsibility for misjudgments, and this can cause them to avoid blame or place it improperly.

People with perfectionist tendencies have common traits such as the relentless pursuit of unrealistic goals, never being satisfied with the work done, believing that the less than perfect task accomplishment equals the less than perfect person, an unrealistic fear of failure, and the false impression that perfection is tied to self-worth.

Studies suggest that people who are perfectionists are less successful, less productive, suffer from greater amounts of stress and other medical problems, and have a hard time achieving healthy self-esteem.

If you feel that you are a perfectionist and want to work on being more realistic and kind to yourself, consider the following tips:

  • Review your goals and make them more realistic.

  • Understand that perfect is just a word, not a possibility.

  • Enjoy your daily accomplishments and successes.

  • Learn to celebrate mishaps of mood, action, and deed.

  • Acknowledge your weaknesses as well as your strengths.

  • Personal responsibility can return to our society if we are willing to do our part. Accepting responsibility for your actions and deeds, refusing to place unnecessary blame, learning to take and give effective criticism, and moving away from the ideal of perfection are ways to begin the movement. It is an individual choice to accept responsibility for your life.

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