4 Things perfectionism kills your dreams

Photo by Ksenia Makagonova on Unsplash

Striving to be better and better is one of the key mindset that each successful has. But there is this one thing that almost each of us tries to handle when it comes to doing something.

We often think that when we do something it should be the best and the perfect. Contrary to this, is what’s actually happening in real life, that we have to do something and commit mistakes in order to be better and better.

Each of us has this kind of mindset/habit and it was like a double-edge sword for us. It can either bring you up or pull you down. We often call this “Perfectionism”.


As defined by Psychology Today;

“Perfectionism is a trait that makes life an endless report card on accomplishments or looks. When healthy, it can be self-motivating and drive you to overcome adversity and achieve success. When unhealthy, it can be a fast and enduring track to unhappiness.”

It can be a good thing or a bad one, but more often than not, it gives a lot of negative things to us.

“What makes extreme perfectionism so toxic is that while those in its grip desire success, they are most focused on avoiding failure, resulting in a negative orientation. They don’t believe in unconditional love, expecting others’ affection and approval to be dependent on a flawless performance.”

As we all know, we learn the most when we committed a mistake and as a result of extreme perfectionism. We consciously try to avoid mistake as much as we can.


This is primarily driven by internal pressures, such us trying to avoid failure or judgement from other people. But according to PsychCentral, this goes beyond our internal pressures;

“Perfectionism is often present when some combination of these factors exist:

Rigid, high parental expectations
Highly critical, shaming, or abusive parents
Excessive praise for your achievements
Low self-esteem or feeling inadequate
Believing your self-worth is determined by your achievements
Black-and-white thinking
Efforts to feel in control
Cultural expectations
Perfectionism can be a result of harsh parenting.
Many perfectionists grew up with unrealistic expectations from parents, caretakers and/or themselves.”

Most of these are external factors. When we are still young, we are like sponge that absorbs whatever our environment gives us. These significantly affect us and unconsciously affect our behaviour and values. We may not noticed it before but as we look back now, you may at least identify some of your beliefs differs from other family.

Aside from this our family upbringing may also significantly affect perfectionism;

“Perfectionism is encouraged in some families. Sometimes parents knowingly or unknowingly establish perfection as the standard. These parents require straight A’s in school or flawless piano recitals. Mistakes are also harshly punished in these families. The punishment may be severe, even abusive. This can include name-calling, yelling, shaming, the silent treatment, and physical punishment. It is conveyed to the child, in words or actions, that mistakes will not be tolerated.”

As some of us may be exposed from these type of environment, we adapted it within ourselves which significantly affect how we behave and think. This can also be the reason how you’ve formed your current values and mindsets.

Thus, it would be critical to have a deeper understanding on what your core values are and your childhood.


1. (Also Known As) A.K.A “Procrastination

The more you tried to make things perfect that more you procrastinate. The truth is perfectionism is a form of prostication, it gives you all the excuses why you shouldn’t do something at all. It puts you to a state that you don’t want to do something as you might just fail or will not have a better result. Until you’ve noticed that you’ve spent all the time thinking about something without finishing anything.

2. Drains your motivation

Have you noticed that the more you think about something that it might fail, the more likely you won’t do it? It slowly drains your motivation until you’ve decided not to do it at all. We often rely solely on our willpower and motivation that when it runs out, we are nowhere to go bu to stop doing it.

3. Perfectionism is 100% subjective

At the end of the day, you will never ever find the perfect one. At some point there will always be some mistake on whatever you are doing. You have to remind that it is always subjective. Thinking that when you do something it should be 100% perfect means that you won’t be able to do anything at all. There will be at least a single error that you can’t avoid. That’s why perfectionism will always hold you from finishing anything at all.

4. Blinded on what really matters

You believe that everything should be important that you forgot to focus on what really matters. You focus too much on everything that you can no longer focus on what truly matters. Isn’t it ironic that the more you focus on everything the more you lose sight to all of it? Learn that you don’t have to focus in being perfect as you might slowly overlooked on what is really important to you.

You may be able to do everything but once you focus on delivering perfect result about everything, notice that it slowly destroys everything. Remember that we can only focus one at a time and focusing on everything will never put you to where you wanted.


Perfectionism will be always be the enemy of productivity. It will keep you from doing something as long as you keep  on thinking that you have do something perfect all the time. The number rule to overcome this is just to do it. Think that perfect will never happen and all it takes is to take action now!

3 replies on “4 Things perfectionism kills your dreams”

Thanks Lynda for your comment! Totally true! It was the same when I was struggling to create article in this blog. Thinking that my post should be perfect and amazing causes me to procrastinate a lot. And when I give in to my procrastination it really frustrates me.


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