Have you always been the kind of student who strives for perfection in, well, everything? Do you push yourself super hard to be the best and feel bad when anyone does better than you? While having ambition and drive can be great, perfectionism isn't necessarily a trait that always has positive results. It can drive students to be stressed, overworked and actually much more unhappy than they would be otherwise. Still not convinced? Here are some of the downsides to aiming for perfection.
It can impact happiness.Does working long hours and having little time to spend with friends in a meaningful way really make you happy? Being perfect means nothing unless you're enjoying your life. Sometimes you have to let go of control to do that.
You may get extremely stressed out. Trying to keep up with meeting the highest standards in school, work and other activities can be exhausting and immensely stressful. Many times, its not even necessary to be perfect to excel, so it might be time to think about how hard you're really pushing yourself.
It may make you very judgmental. Not only of yourself, but of others as well. This may make it hard to make or keep friends who feel they can never match your lofty ideas of who they should be or how they should act.
Your goals may be unreasonable. It's great to set high goals for yourself, but there are times when certain goals are just plain unattainable. Failing to meet them again and again can send you spiraling into self-hate and destructive behaviors.
Sometimes the best lessons in life are in failure. Perfectionists are by nature terrified of failure. While failure isn't ever fun, sometimes the lessons learned by not being perfect are much more profound and life changing than those learned through success.
You won't ever be enough. When has a perfectionist ever done enough? Tried hard enough, put in enough effort, attained a high enough level of performance? The answer is never. While it's admirable to always aim to be the best, its impractical and impossible to push yourself to always be perfect.
Being a perfectionist isn't always a bad trait, but it does have its downsides. If you're the type that can never settle for less than the best, sometimes it might be nice to give yourself a break, kick back and just relax. It could do wonders for your happiness and stress levels, making you even better when you get back to work.
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