Just like one forms an addiction to alcohol, drugs, or money, it is very easy to develop a habit to succeed. No matter how hard you work for it, it does not seem enough for you, and you are never fully satisfied. If you feel that you are persistently facing mental health issues, we advise you to check out getdiazepam for any mental health treatment that may be required.

In the start, pursuing perfection seems to be a positive addiction, but all good things can quickly become toxic if they are overdone. After some time, the pursuit of excellence starts controlling your life. 

The thrill of the chase 

After achieving success for some time, whether it’s financial success, academic success, or any other one, you get addicted to it. You constantly try to work better and harder to be more successful every time. The satisfaction and feeling of exhilaration one get after completing important tasks, working under pressure, and meeting deadlines drives one to do more and more work of that nature. Ultimately, you become what is called a ‘perfectionist’. 

Perfectionism: how does one get drawn to it?

Pursuing things the perfect way leads one to become a perfectionist. Perfectionism is when one has exceptionally high standards in doing things, and mostly those standards are impossible to be achieved by other people.

At first, it may be inferred that perfectionism is good to have and is an important motivator, but that’s not correct. The pursuit of achieving excellence can quickly lead you to overstress yourself and overburden yourself in the drive to achieve perfection. As a result, you end up feeling unhappy with yourself and your performance every time you complete a task. It is simply because you think you could’ve done much better. This leads you to develop anxiety, depression, eating disorders, self-loathing, and an overall bad relationship with yourself, as you are constantly shunning yourself. 

If you go on about this way, it eventually leads you not to try at all, abandoning everything all at once. The pursuit of always outdoing yourself ultimately affects your quality of life, affecting your relationships, work, social life, or education. 

Is the pursuit of excellence only common in adults?

The pursuit of excellence is not only found in adults but also youngsters. Ever since kids are young and are constantly reminded to perform their best in school and other activities – only then will they be worthy of praise and love. Children like those often become overachievers so they can be appreciated and praised. They constantly try harder to become the best in school and outside school. This can easily lead them to become obsessed with success, and later on, this obsession manifests into seeking excellence and perfectionism as they grow old.

How can you identify the symptoms of perfectionism?

It is healthy to have the desire to give your all but having an irrational desire to be perfect all the time is not okay. If you have any of these feelings, you may be experiencing perfectionism. 

  • You do not trust others with your tasks because you feel nobody can do them better than you.
  • You are overcritical of yourself and others.
  • You are overly controlling in your personal and professional life.
  • You play it by the book in every area of life, even non-work related.
  • You slowly become apathetic as you don’t spend much time working on relationships.

How to tone down your perfectionism:

  • Set goals that are realistic and achievable. 
  • Focus on one task or activity.
  • Be lenient towards people and acknowledge that everyone makes mistakes.
  • Understand that errors allow you to learn.
  • Remain realistic about the outcome of your performance.

Consequences of chasing excellence

  1. Decreased productivity 

Since you’re constantly trying to overachieve, that thought itself is overburdening, therefore making you procrastinate. You develop that all-or-nothing mindset. Therefore either you entirely go in, or you fully skip out on things. That, in turn, affects your productivity.

  1. Vulnerability

Since you are constantly applying so much pressure on yourself or perceive pressure from society, this will cause you a lot of stress and make you vulnerable to many problems.

  1. Bad mental health

As you become vulnerable because of the constant stressors, you end up destroying your mental health. As a result, you may become susceptible to problems like anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, anger, frustration, loneliness, impatience, Obsessive-compulsive disorder, and possibly a lot more. 

  1. Physical Health

Besides bad mental health, you can also significantly deteriorate your physical health. You may also get eating disorders because you’re so much of a perfectionist that you cannot go one day without your strict diet. If you end up missing a day of your diet, you feel like you are spiralling. 

  1. Tarnished relationships

As you are so obsessed with high standards, achieving excellence, and perfectionism, you spend less and less time around your loved ones. You force your high standards on them and expect the same from them, which is impossible to achieve in most cases. You superimpose the same level of perfection required for work on social relationships. You expect the same level of perfection from others as you expect from yourself. 

The takeaway

While many people will tell you that chasing excellence is an excellent trait to have, many repercussions come with it. One should know that perfectionism does more harm than benefit. It is a never-ending drive toward achieving the impossible.