The Pursuit of Excellence
There are lots of things you can aim for – should perfection be one of them?
I’m going to suggest not. Why?
Because when you set perfection as your ultimate goal, you’re inevitably setting yourself up for failure. Not just any failure, but a painful debilitating one at that, especially if you give it your all. How so?
Because perfectionism is essentially unattainable.
Instead of perfection, why not aim for something more realistic and attainable, like excellence. It’s still high up on the achievement scale, but at least, it’s more attainable.
Not a single one of us is perfect, so why aim for perfection?
Perfection is, to put it bluntly, overrated.
When you aim for perfection, you set a bar so high that when you make a single, tiny mistake, it can cause everything you’ve worked so hard for to crumble.
Compare this to when you aim for excellence; you give yourself a fighting chance to succeed! You’re not going to be scared to go out there and ‘give it a crack’ because you know your chances of making an impact are good.
Excellence is about using your mistakes and your failures as learning experiences. And the other benefit of aiming for excellence? You’ve always got some more room to grow! You can be the best performer at work, school, and sport, and still have room to improve.
But I Want to Be The Best!
There’s nothing wrong in working toward perfection, but its unfair to be critical of ourselves for not being perfect. If your pursuit of perfectionism is coming at the cost of belittling and critical self talk, or other destructive thoughts and behaviour, then the pursuit is not healthy and not serving you well.
On a more practical level your pursuit could be costing you time and money unnecessarily.
Instead, a pursuit of excellence and growth is a healthy and empowering way in which you can achieve your highest aspirations and be free to be proud of your achievements.
Operating from a place like this will enable you to be self motivating, empowered and self governing as your mindset will be of a positive nature from the get-go.
I’d suggest this is a much happier and peaceful way to live while still reaching for the highest pinnacles of success that you choose to strive toward.
Self Reflection Questions
How is it that your ‘need’ for perfectionism is holding you back?
What if you were to focus on excellence and growth over the ‘need’ to be perfect?
What would this look like for you?
Picture it in your mind. What do you see. What are you doing? What do you say to yourself as your grow and improve and become better each day?
What do you feel now, as your inner critic dialogue volume is turned own and balanced with encouraging, soothing words to support your growth?
Well done. Write down or record any ‘break through’ realisations this shift in thinking has had for you and go forth in your pursuit of excellence!