There seems to be an epidemic of perfectionism sweeping the western world. Everyone is striving for excellence for themselves and for their children. Rather than increasing confidence and happiness levels, perfectionism causes general feelings of inadequacy.
“Good enough” is often thought of negatively as meaning second best. Firstly, I’m not exactly sure what’s wrong with second best. And secondly, how can we possibly hope to achieve perfection?
Many people struggle with thinking that they are not good enough – mums and dads get so concerned that they will damage their children if they are not perfect parents. Kids are feeling inadequate if they don’t excel at something. Teenagers are not feeling good enough if they don’t have amazing experiences to display on facebook. When relationships break down, we are quick to question why we weren’t good enough. When we are made redundant or fail to land a dream job, we are full of self-doubt. All these normal challenges in life are seen as evidence of our inadequacies.
How can we reduce perfectionism and feel good enough?
- Set realistic goals based on what’s important to you
- See yourself through others’ eyes – especially for the introverts out there
- Accept that rejection is a normal part of life
- Embrace the challenge that is learning from our mistakes
- Remind children not to aim for perfection
- Remember that gratitude and altruism brings a lot more happiness than success