Striving for Perfection: Flaws of Perfectionism

Essay details

Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Fear and Shielding: The Cons of Striving for Perfection
  • Unrealistic Goals: Striving for Perfection and Emotional Consequences
  • Challenging the Illusion of Perfection on Social Media
  • Conclusion


Have you ever pushed yourself way too hard just to get things done? Do you ever get frustrated when you’re late for work? Do you work all night on the tiniest detail just so everything looks just how you want it to be? Are you always striving for perfection? Well, all these are proofs of the quintessential meaning of perfectionism. Perfectionism is a personality trait that aids in flawlessness, persistency and setting high standards. Although being a perfectionist may be an advantage, the disadvantages are more of a concern. Most perfectionists are overly critical of themselves and others and have a really strong desire to be important, useful and always strive to improve more than others. Unfortunately, it has harmful effects on college students, because there have been several studies showing alarming links and searches in regards to depression and suicide. But the three main causes of perfectionism are setting unrealistic goals and the fear of failure and disapproval, social media and those could lead to many mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression and having “OCD” (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).

Essay due? We'll write it for you!

Any subject

Min. 3-hour delivery

Pay if satisfied

Get your price

Fear and Shielding: The Cons of Striving for Perfection

Starting with fear of disapproval and failure, including examples and explanations. Perfectionists specifically put off doing a piece of work or assignment they want to outdo because they are afraid that they would fail or think of what others will think of it on whether it’s perfect or not. If they grant others to see their flaws and defects, they feel as if they won’t be welcomed. So being a perfectionist is a way for them to be in a shield away from criticism, excommunication, and disfavor. But by having this mentality, they often have trouble getting things done on time and that puts a strain on completing things. And it’s extremely pernicious because you start giving more notability to others’ feedbacks about your inefficiency. Perfectionists usually feel ashamed of making a single mistake and keep on thinking about it forever instead of learning from their mistakes and accepting the fact that everyone fails at some point in their life but eventually they will become stronger as they learn. And to add an example of what the definition to that is, Atychiphobia is the most suitable word for it, and it is having an irrational and persistent fear of failing, which results in mood disorder, anxiety disorder, or an eating disorder. Furthermore, perfectionists loose opportunities that they can learn and grow from.

Unrealistic Goals: Striving for Perfection and Emotional Consequences

Continuing, unrealistic goals is another major sign of perfectionism. As Leo Buscaglia said, “Some of the biggest problems arise when we begin to believe that we are perfect or the world around us should be perfect”. This states the exact qualifications of being a perfectionist, they do whatever it takes to achieve unrealistic goals for the sake of success and happiness. But it could result in negative emotions like frustration and disappointment. Perfectionists set unrealistic goals. And because of optimism and uncertainty, people tend to set unrealistic goals. Optimism, people tend to make decisions without thinking deeply through it and just being optimistic about it, but not all of those decisions are going to be successful and by being a perfectionist, not being able to achieve that will be a great disappointment. I’m not against optimism but getting your hopes up could be extremely bad for your health and peace. Going deep into health, uncertainty involves loosing too much weight or gain too many muscles like the speed of an arrow.

Challenging the Illusion of Perfection on Social Media

Last but not least, social media comes up as a top cause. Social media has drastically changed the role of perfection in young people's lives. We are continuously on social media, looking at images of perfect bodies, perfect families, perfect furniture, perfect jobs and much more. This fools us into accepting the fact that we need to be perfect in this society at all costs. But not all of us are ever perfect, and even if people look perfect on the outside, we all know that you are the only one who knows yourself but never know what’s going on with others behind the scenes. So don’t always trust what you see on Instagram or Twitter. People often make themselves look stronger than they really are and that is pretty bad for their health since things could get out of hand as they grow. Not all those girls you see on social media are perfect, they’re as equally beautiful as you are. Making yourself into someone else will ruin your life to the point where you only show happiness on the outside but leaving the darkness inside for no one to see. Instead, to bring happiness into this world is by learning to accept being good enough. We are all different in our unique way, with different strengths and weaknesses. Everyone should feel confident and comfortable about being imperfect to grow into who they truly are.


To sum everything up, being a perfectionist could lead to many problems, including your mental health, anxiety, depression, fatigue, procrastination and having “OCD” (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). The three point explained includes, fear of disapproval and failure, setting unrealistic goals and social media. Fear of disapproval and mistakes meaning the importance of others’ feedback, setting unrealistic goals because of optimism and uncertainty, and social media being a major part of peoples outlooks on others including themselves. Moreover, there are many ways to solve the problem or make it better and some may include, going out of your comfort zone and confronting your fears of disapproval and failure, prioritizing self care and investing in yourself, trust that things are going to be done in time, constantly keeping in mind that you are good enough, as well as seeking psychiatric or psychological help. To add on, keeping positive thoughts through your head and not making decisions based on others' comments is a better option. Because once a person keeps the thought of nothing ever being truly perfect, they reduce their expectations and can set more achievable goals. And in this way, they can achieve a higher level of accomplishment. 

Get quality help now

Prof Saney

Verified writer

Proficient in: Experience, Psychiatry & Mental Health

4.9 (316 reviews)
“He was able to complete the assignment following all directions in an elaborate manner in a short period of time. ”

+75 relevant experts are online

More Excellence Related Essays

banner clock
Clock is ticking and inspiration doesn't come?
We`ll do boring work for you. No plagiarism guarantee. Deadline from 3 hours.

We use cookies to offer you the best experience. By continuing, we’ll assume you agree with our Cookies policy.