START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

Achieving Perfection

Achieving Perfection

Are you a perfectionist? I know that I am, but it’s usually hard for me to admit… because, true to my perfectionist nature, I don’t feel like I’m close enough to perfect to admit to being a perfectionist.

Being a perfectionist is exhausting, especially since it means we typically get caught up in our own interpretation of what that means (and it’s usually pretty stringent). For some reason, we perfectionists tend to define perfection as being the opposite of who we are naturally. We have an image in our minds of what perfection looks like, but she definitely doesn’t resemble us at all. So, we try and try to match up to the unrealistic image in our heads, but we’re never satisfied because at the end of the day, that person isn’t us.

But what I’ve been learning is that perfection isn’t the rigid definition we usually think of. I believe that perfection is acceptance; it’s knowing who we are, embracing it, and growing in our strengths. To try to be another person is to continue to pursue imperfection; to live authentically as ourselves is to strive to be perfect in who we have always been meant to be. What you view as one of your greatest weaknesses could actually be your biggest strength — especially if you stop denying it and position it towards a positive outcome.

As perfectionists, we need to give up the notion of being the perfect person and start being ourselves. Because, after all, no one’s going to be better at being you than you.


Image Credit: Maret Hosemann / Flickr

Read more: Self-Help, Spirit, , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Erika Oglesby

Erika Oglesby is a freelance writer and wandering nomad currently located in Grand Rapids, MI. She is dedicated to helping people better their lives through self-knowledge and alternative therapies -- especially women of color and women diagnosed with autoimmune diseases. Visit her website at


+ add your own
2:01PM PDT on Apr 17, 2012

thank you

6:52AM PDT on Apr 13, 2012

Well said Linda T! I too am a perfectionist Virgo, it's got be an inborn trait? It has many more downsides than up, in my opinion...

6:03PM PDT on Apr 11, 2012


6:02PM PDT on Apr 11, 2012

Very interesting perspective

4:34PM PDT on Apr 10, 2012

Thanks. Something I definitely need to work on!

10:01AM PDT on Apr 10, 2012

Thanks for sharing this point of view.

5:34AM PDT on Apr 7, 2012


4:56PM PDT on Apr 6, 2012

I used to be a perfectionist, but I gave it up when I realized it was a flaw. Perfectionists tend to be more anxious about the risk of failure, which makes it harder for them to accomplish anything, and thus they fail more. They have a harder time completing things, because they know that no real thing is perfect yet. So, in my quest to be the best and most perfect person I can be, I stopped being a perfectionist years ago. I recommend it to others who are struggling to be perfect. You may think giving up on the goal will make it harder to get close to it, but perfectionism doesn't help with perfecting. You just need to keep a goal of constantly striving to be good and improving, while accepting wherever you are currently. It works much better than perfectionism.

9:43PM PDT on Apr 5, 2012

Perfectionism is partially inborn and partially caused by social pressure.

6:40PM PDT on Apr 5, 2012

Procrastination tends to keep me from being a perfectionist, no doubt there are certain areas in everyone's lives where they want to have something absolutely Perfect. Striving for close to perfection in that case is fine. If everything in life becomes the Object of Perfection then it must be stressful at some point (although some find this stress or fixation a source of exhilaration).

Me, well...taking lessons from my cat, purrfection is a life of tranquillity, friendship and pampurring. While we humans cannot live the life of a wanted and pampered feline who is the centre piece of Purfection Itself...we can learn to relax and realize that we can never be Perfect.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

video spotlight

Daily Cute: Love is Love

Daily Cute: Love is Love

people are talking

I build my pizzas on whole wheat flatbread, large stadium burger buns or buy the el cheapo frozen ch…

Delicious and so good for you...sounds like a winner to me!

I'd eat nothing but fruit left to my own devices but it's too expensive. I had oatmeal for breakfast…

I agree, this article is too negative, I am not a negative thinking person.

My boys are okay with combing, and since they're strict indoor shorthairs that's usually all they ne…


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.