“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” -Elizabeth Appell.
We all like living in the comfort zone, because we know what to expect and there is no fear. But since we live in a world with constant change, we can’t get too comfortable. We can resist change or we can accept it. The more resistance, the more pain. When we sit motionless and stagnant, we are wasting precious moments. When we are defending and holding onto something that is causing pain, we need to release it and move on, and we will emerge better than before. We will get the gentle nudge to keep improving and advancing toward purpose and fulfillment. When we are brave, take risks, and embrace change, we will live a more adventurous and joyful life. When we keep our hearts open and renew our minds, everything will flow accordingly.
I have always believed perfectionism was a good thing and that we must strive to be perfect in everything we do. I have discovered that perfection is not attainable and that no one is perfect (except for our Creator). Life can be very frustrating for a perfectionist. I know, because I am a recovering perfectionist. Before, I wanted my life to be perfect, but now, my goal is to be happy. I continue to learn to be the best I can be and achieve what I can at the highest level possible (excellence) which is good enough for me! Psychologist Thomas Greenspon quoted the following differences between excellence and perfectionism in his book, “Moving Past Perfect:”
- “Excellence is risk. Perfection is fear.
- Excellence is effort. Perfection is anger and frustration.
- Excellence is openness to being wrong. Perfection is having to be right.
- Excellence is spontaneity. Perfection is control.
- Excellence is flow. Perfectionism is pressure.
- Excellence is confidence. Perfectionism is doubt.
- Excellence is a journey. Perfectionism is destination.
- Excellence is acceptance. Perfectionism is judgement.
- Excellence is encouraging. Perfection is criticizing.”
Here are a few more to consider that I’ve read elsewhere:
- Excellence is surrender. Perfectionism is consuming.
- Excellence is trust. Perfection is selfishness.
Dr. Greenspon also stated, “Perfectionism does not determine success — talent, energy, and commitment do. Perfectionists are successful despite their perfectionism — not because of it.”