Positive perspectives and practices for personal growth.

Acceptance

There’s a discord running through all our lives… a gap, or maybe a gulf, between what we have and what we want. Do you know what? The disparity between the two is – according to Eastern philosophy at least – pretty much responsible for all human suffering. The theory goes that not having what we […]

Bin Perfectionism

Some people think perfectionism is a virtue… Oh…don’t you know, I just can’t get started until my pencils are aligned to the nearest micron, every to-do note in my inbox has been trouser pressed, and I’m as calm as a Buddhist Monk going ‘Ommmmmm‘ by the shore of placid lake. Then…everything has to be meticulously […]

Perfect Imperfection: The Benefits of Capturing the Big Picture

Perfectionism, as the name suggests, wants every last detail to be perfect. It’s a manifestation of the logical left side of the brain, the part of the brain that insists on doing things methodically and accurately, step-by-step, detail by detail. But the problem is, when you employ that left-side orientated perfectionist mentally to your work, your mental functioning becomes more akin to a Casio calculator than that of a human being – you’re able to deal effectively with ‘black and white’ facts, but your ability to creatively manipulate those facts – to think ‘outside the box’ – is straight jacketed.

Two Powerful Antidotes to Perfectionism: Perspective and Flow

In my last article on perfectionism, I tried to dispel one of the greatest myths – that perfectionism is in any way a virtue. On the contrary, as you’ll have seen from my own trials and tribulations, striving for perfection in any pursuit is not only entirely unrealistic, but deeply unhealthy. This article builds on the last by examining two powerful strategies for overcoming perfectionistic tendencies: Firstly, changing your perspective so that your work doesn’t carry the same degree of importance and secondly, removing all traces of fear by working in the flow.

The Curse of Perfectionism

Most see perfectionism as a human virtue – a valuable personality trait to aspire to. As an illustration, just consider for one moment the sheer number of people you’ve probably come across who seem to take delight in talking about their perfectionistic tendencies – intimating that they’re blessed with a gift that raises them above their fellow man; and that their rare gift pushes their endeavours to the limits of human productivity, conscientiousness and creativity. But is that really the reality?