Many people want to be perfect and they spend a lot of their energy trying to improve themselves so they appear perfect. This is a fool’s game as perfection is an impossible goal; and the earlier this is realized the better it is for your life. Yes, to be “perfect: be imperfect. Thanks to Instagram and other social media channels it’s easy to get the impression that everyone else has the perfect life and that you are being left behind. Remember that all of those feeds are curated snippets of one’s life which masks all their own imperfections. So don’t stress about it and just embrace who you are.
Perfectionism comes in three common flavors — “self-oriented,” where someone demands perfection from themselves; “other-oriented,” where they demand perfection from others around them (like spouses, co-workers or friends), and “socially prescribed” perfectionism, where the person feels external pressure from the larger world and society to be perfect.
The latter type seems to be especially pernicious, says Gordon Flett, a psychologist at York University in Canada, because it’s consistently linked to health and emotional problems. He recently published a paper looking at people with chronic health problems like fibromyalgia or heart problems. About one in four of them scored high in socially prescribed perfectionism, where they felt that society or people around them expected them to be perfect.
Striving for perfection isn’t the same as being competitive or aiming for excellence, which can be healthy things. What makes perfectionism toxic is that you’re holding yourself to an impossible standard that can never be achieved — essentially setting yourself up for perpetual failure.