perfectionism as a tool

A lot of people seem to struggle with perfectionistic tendencies. If you’re aiming for perfection, it can get harder to start a project because you can sense how much work it will take to achieve that perfect vision in your mind.

One solution is to start viewing perfectionism as a tool that we can selectively wield. In our life, we can identify which things we want to do exceptionally well, and why. Then, we can leave the rest.

As human beings, our resources such as time, energy, willpower, attention, money, motivation, and interest, are all limited. It is helpful to be strategic about which battles we want to pick and give our full attention to, and which ones we can be okay with being imperfect.

Rotis | Photo by Usman Yousaf on

For example, if you just want to have healthy food to eat, you don’t need to make the roundest Rotis or have the food look picture-perfect. It just needs to be edible and healthy enough. If you’re doing a course to level up some career skills, then the specific grades don’t matter as much as gaining skills. You don’t have to waste your efforts on those things. That effort can be invested elsewhere (or nowhere at all).

Perfectionism doesn’t have to be a way of life. It can be a tool we can pull out of our toolboxes to use in specific situations, then tuck away.

If we let the tendencies of perfectionism run rampant in our lives without boundaries, we invite unnecessary stress, neuroticism, and waste of the precious resources in our lives.

Allowing ourselves to live in the grays of life instead following the all-or-nothing ways will help us bypass those stresses and worries.


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