Friday, February 18, 2011

The problem with perfectionism

It has been my observation that perfectionism is the character trait at the root of more suffering than any other. And, yet, people who are afflicted with this attribute cling to it passionately and defend it with ferocity. Here's something that says a little bit about this:

Perfectionism doesn't believe in practice shots. It doesn't believe in improvement. Perfectionism has never heard that anything worth doing is worth doing badly--and that if we allow ourselves to do something badly we might in time become quite good at it. Perfectionism measures our beginner's work against the finished work of masters. Perfectionism thrives on comparison and competition. It doesn't know how to say, "Good try," or "Job well done." The critic does not believe in creative glee--or any glee at all, for that matter. No, perfectionism is a serious matter.

-- Julia Cameron


  1. I try to embrace the attitude of welcoming the situations in which I happen (not intentionally) to be embarrassed. These moments are quite effective reminders to not buy into the notion of perfectionism.

  2. Anonymous4:06 PM

    So true Ellie and in many cases we are so much more gracious with others than we are with ourselves.

  3. Anonymous10:21 PM

    Religion is stupid.


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