The Value of Striving for Perfection: an Unconventional Position

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Perils and Value of Striving for Perfection
  • The Illusion of Perfection: Unattainable Standards
  • A Motivating Approach of Striving for Perfection
  • Conclusion


Why do people tend to become hard on themselves when making a mistake? Many people expect too much from themselves and when making a mistake they beat themselves up making them less positive. They fail to realize that no one person is perfect and find the value of striving for perfection irreplaceable for themselves. Just like water, mistakes are an essential part of life. It’s not for people’s mistakes that they should be judged by; rather they should accept it and change for the better. How Harriet Braiker once said, “Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing.” Instead of dreading on trying to perfectionalize something impossible they should focus on excellence which is about “doing the right thing” and the results for it to be successful rather than what others creed.

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Perils and Value of Striving for Perfection

Striving for perfection is peevish and impossible. Be comfortable with failure. After attempting something multiple times and somehow not able to get it right instead of beating yourself up and letting it defeat you, look at it as a learning experience. Take athletes as an example, whenever someone doesn’t perform “perfectly” they tend to reminisce on it constantly and BOOM! Suddenly their confidence level is through the ground. All of a sudden that one game turns into three, then four and it keeps getting worse. Why is that? It’s because they are never able to bring their confidence level back up because they set unrealistic goals that not even the most adept professional athletes can achieve.

The Illusion of Perfection: Unattainable Standards

Trying to perfectionalize something steals people's time, draining their energy like a blood-sucking vampire. Perfectionism bullies and criticises people, demanding unachievable things because whatever they want to do isn't good enough. It makes people try to live up to some illusion that doesn’t exist. Perfection is out of reach. Often times because the fear of failure people never complete things, start things, or even not take them on at all. Perfectionism also causes procrastination on things that need to be done because they think it won’t come out good enough. Perfectionists fear of being unable to deliver to unachievable standards often causes them to completely avoid tasks at all. They’re terrified of mistakes, and consequently find themselves stressed, anxious, and desperately focused on not failing.

A Motivating Approach of Striving for Perfection

Striving for excellence is motivating. Excellence focuses on what's working well, rather than on the things that aren’t. It keeps people’s attention on positives and how it could become better. There’s no fear of failure or mistakes attached to excellence and it’s realistic as well. If people want to succeed in all aspects of their life, they should focus on excellence, this way, their results will always come out great. There’s no damage to self esteem, like how perfectionism does. Perfectionism diminishes productivity, efficiency, effectiveness, and even worse, damages peace of heart and mind.


Success does not mean getting things right all the time. Success is really based on doing the right thing and learning from mistakes. So remember- it isn’t always obligatory to be correct. As long as it’s always the right thing. Doing that makes life much better and enjoyable.

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