Happiness Gets Lost With Perfectionism

A plack with a pen which states progress over perfection

Happiness Gets Lost With Perfectionism

updated 04-05-2024

When I wake up in the morning, I do not ask God to make me perfect. I ask Him to make me genuine, trustworthy, and thankful. There is no hope for total happiness in the world with a belief that being perfect will make your life blissful, or happy. There is a lot of evidence that happiness gets lost with perfectionism.

Perfectionism is a lost cause simply because someone, somewhere is going to see your perfectionism very differently than you do. That, of course, means that what is perfect for you, is probably not perfect for someone else. If you want to be happy, it is time you stopped playing with the idea that you have to perfect in the eyes of other people, or your own.

You will never make it and thereby destroy your happiness trying to be more perfect. What might be perfect today may be an absolute failure at another time, place, project, or event.

What is Perfectionism?

Perfectionism is – labeled as a meticulous drive to attain excellence. A perfectionist has this characteristic.

Perfectionism in psychology-

It is a personality trait characterized by a person’s striving for flawlessness and setting excessively high-performance standards, accompanied by overly critical self-evaluations and concerns regarding others’ evaluation. Wikipedia

How People Often View Perfection

Some people in our world believe that perfectionism is regarded as good and desirable while imperfection is deemed as bad or negative. Everybody wants everybody else to be perfect.

Bosses want their employees to be flawless on the job. Parents want their kids to be of high performance. Perfectionists want their work and themselves to be perfect.

With the idea that this is positive, is perfectionism an absolute or universal value?

How People Should View Perfection

In 2018 Harvard Business wrote that many young people are putting constraints upon themselves to accomplish more perfectionism. Which means they are possibly setting themselves up for failure. There are reasons for this as competition is high in high school and college in today’s world. However, this is not what a parent wants for their children’s health or well-being.

Here is why:

  • Competition is good when coupled with a sports game, or any game as long as it is within a balance of knowing it is not the end of the world if someone else succeeds.
  • When any individual, young or old makes it a priority to try to outperform everyone else, it is going to make that individual feel less than others- if they cannot do it.
  • It can and will cause a bad attitude, anxiety, and depression.
  • Being overly competitive and needing to be the best at everything is reaching for something that is not going to happen. Thereby causing conflict, anger, discouragement, and discontentment.

Perfectionism is a Lie


nobody is perfect 688365 1280
Photo by Alex Fotos @ Pixabay


Some time ago Forbes published the title above. It stated that it is an idea with an unreachable goal. Nothing could be truer.  When a person lies to themself that they must seek to be the best at everything, they are setting themselves up for disappointment. Not a soul living is the best at everything they do.

One simple reason for the last statement is that not many of us love doing the same things. Someone who loves playing tennis will practice, they know the moves to make, they study and become excellent. However, another individual may be clumsy, can’t hit the tennis ball, and has no desire to learn about it. Is this latter person a failure? No!

When you lie to yourself and expect too much from yourself, you will experience more than just failure. You will be allowing yourself to doubt your inner abilities and strengths.

This can make you procrastinate, be afraid to begin a new project, and even stop you from succeeding when you have more ability than you are realizing.

We all have our strengths and weaknesses. This is life in a nutshell.

Happiness Comes From Within Where There is Balance

Balance is often hard to accomplish in the world we live in today. There is a lot of competition in the world. What is important is knowing when to compete, and when not to.

Everyone is so busy and has their lifestyle and schedules. More often than not, most of us have schedules that are too full.

When and if a person is dwelling on being a perfectionist, in all areas of their life, something will have to give eventually if they want to maintain their happiness. No one has to be the best at everything that the world offers.

If you want to be the best student, study, make the grades, and be sure to remember that while being an excellent student, you are an excellent person. Make sure you are not leaving your friends behind because they made a C. Make sure that you remember your primary goals for being an excellent student. Usually, it means that you will get into the best college, graduate with honors, or become an employee who can become a leader.

Whether young or old, whether you want to be thought of as the best at what you do, you mustn’t be leaving the most important aspects of your life undone.

If you forget the real-life things that matter the most behind; you will eventually be sitting somewhere alone, wishing you had changed your priorities.

Here are some important questions to think about…

  1. Why do you have the desire to be a perfectionist?
  2. How will being a perfectionist make you a better individual than another, when actually, it doesn’t?
  3. Has someone told you that you must be perfect?
  4. Do you realize that no one is perfect?
  5. Who actually are you kidding when you think that you must be perfect at everything to be considered a normal, well-rounded individual?

Here Are My Thoughts On Perfectionism

I have friends who are the best food preparers, cooks, and chefs in the world. They can make the best desserts with great perfection. They make beautiful cakes, pies, and casseroles that will melt in your mouth. , I try to make them eatable. I am not the perfect cake, pie, or casserole maker. If they turn out well, I am pleased, if they do not, I am not embarrassed or throw a fit. My family will eat them if they are not burned.

There is nothing wrong with being a wonderful food preparer. It is a talent, and yes, there are many praises for those people. However, this is not my best talent. I do not have criticism from my family, and that is what is important. I do try to prepare something that I know will turn out well when we have an event at church. Sometimes it does, but a few times, it hasn’t. I do not cry.

I think I have other talents that I do well, they are not perfect, however, they give me satisfaction, and I love telling the great food preparers at church how wonderful their food is.

Perfection Is In The Eye of The Beholder

Perfection is in the eye of the beholder, and it is simply one idea. However, when we look at life with the perception that we must try to be perfect, we diminish our happiness. Perfection to us becomes satisfaction when it is a priority. However, it is more than likely false hope of being the best, while causing us pain.

Not every person has to be the best. Being the best of your God-given talents is all that any person needs.

“When we can feel good about what we have done, and if we are satisfied with the results, and ourselves, that should be enough.”

“Perfection and imperfection are therefore merely attached values.”

This does not suggest that doing your best at whatever you do is wrong.

We suggest that perhaps perfectionism can cast a controlling net over our expression of happiness. One can reach their required goals without being perfect.

To be a perfectionist, on the other hand, leaves very little room for one to accept and love oneself unconditionally when the desired goal is not met. In addition, when our desires are not met, we feel unhappy or cannot be fully satisfied.

The truth is we only have each moment to live. By being a perfectionist, our mind will be forever planning and thinking about the future or lamenting about what went wrong in the past. Because of these tendencies, many perfectionists are unable to feel satisfaction because in their perception they never seem to do things well enough to warrant that feeling of contentment.

“The easiest way to make a mistake is to believe that you must be perfect. The hardest way to do your best is thinking about how other people will see you if you mess up.”

“The easiest way to succeed in all of your life, is to know that if you don’t succeed, you will try again.”

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