Perfection – the Unattainable

In our overly-competitive world, it is easy to get immersed in the pursuit of perfection. There is stress when you have people over and you think the house is not like something out of Home Beautiful. More stress comes when the meal you prepare isn’t what someone would find in a world-class restaurant. You may be dissatisfied with yourself for not working hard enough for that promotion that someone else got.

Striving for perfection is not a bad thing. In fact, it is often the way wondrous new inventions are developed and new discoveries are made.

Having goals and desires that make you stretch yourself and lead you to perform better than anyone expects are good. Setting the bar high for yourself keeps you working at your best.

But over-striving for perfection leads to quite a number of negative consequences. One of those is the danger of your becoming so obsessed with perfection that whatever you do is never good enough. Even if what you do is better than everyone else.

You can put so much pressure on yourself that you actually perform less than your best. You may become a person who puts things off or avoids them altogether in order to stay away from the negative self-messages you send yourself. There may be times you stay away from certain situations because you fear you won’t handle them well enough.

It is when you set your standards and expectations so high that no one could reach them and then berate yourself for not reaching them that the striving for perfection becomes harmful.

This kind of thing sets the stage for the development of psychological disorders such as anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. Many times, people begin telling themselves they are worthless because they can’t reach those exceptionally high goals.

Some people just seem to be wired this way from birth. They continue to desire to be better than the best, to reach perfection. Others are made to be this way. One example may be the child who is told nothing less than an A on everything is acceptable. And then when they earn the A, but could have gotten and A+, they aren’t good enough.

Overcoming the drive for perfection is difficult. Professional help may be needed. It’s important to realize being the best you can as an individual is better than continually striving to be better than everyone. Striving to be better today than you were yesterday is healthy, something to be worked toward.

Martial arts training is a great way to help you deal with the potential problem of pursuing perfection. Shifu Raymond Ahles at Blue Dragon School of Martial Arts is ready and able to help you in practicing the basics of martial arts and in becoming the best you can be in the martial arts. He will monitor your training and sparring and make suggestions when he sees some area in which you may be lacking. Contact him at 201-385-3130 today and get started or started again!

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