The Perils of Trying to be Perfect

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“Perfect is not only the enemy of the good; it’s also the enemy of the realistic, the possible and the fun.”

– Rebecca Solnit

Hi! My name is Claire and I’m a recovering perfectionist.

I have incredibly high standards, which you think would be useful, but I just find them confining and demoralising.

My perfectionism means I obsess and worry about things to the extent that if I see even the smallest error in work I’ve produced, my stomach plummets, I get nauseous and immediately go into a mini, mental breakdown. 

I’m actually better now. I used to be much worse when I was younger. I would actively fail something purely because I couldn’t execute it perfectly.

Thankfully, one reward of ageing is that you gain wisdom. And this wisdom, alongside the adventure that is self-employment has helped me realise that something which makes me want to crawl under a rock never to be seen again, is rarely noticed by others. So, there I am kicking myself and there they are happy with a job well done.

So these days I strive for excellence rather than perfection – like the quote says, perfect is the enemy.

The Struggle is Real

I still struggle when I make mistakes, not to own them (I’ve always been unfailingly honest) but to not obsess over them. I struggle with perfectionist guilt and mostly I struggle to put them behind me. Those babies can haunt me for days, sometimes weeks, even once they’ve been rectified.

BUT! I am actively trying to deal with it better.

Now when a mistake is identified, it’s immediately corrected (obvs), and while it isn’t easy, I persevere with trying to put it behind me. Life is too precious to waste it being angry over things, which in the grand scheme of life, don’t matter. After all, I’m not performing life-saving surgery here!

I also look for the things I do well, the good bits, the big and small wins. This really helps me balance things out.

And if you find yourself struggling with the perils of perfection…

…are a self-employed business owner and want someone on your team to help with all the admin that bogs you down, then head over to my contact page, whizz me an email or book yourself in for a call and we can chat about how I can help.

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