Being a Perfectionist

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, is said when something is working adequately, so that you would leave it alone and not tamper with it, as this could end up making it worse.  A perfectionist may refuse to accept any standard that is short of excellence and they would strive for being flawless and never settle for second best, because of their excessively high-performance standards, accompanied by overly critical self-evaluations and concerns regarding others’ evaluations.  These people are rarely happy, because they constantly worry about failing to meet their own impossible standards, which tends to lead to health problems such as depression, eating disorders, and anxiety.

It is good to take pride in your work, but being a perfectionist can be a handicap just as much as it is an asset.  When you are good at what you do, your life will not feel like a daily grind and you will excel because you are not just going through the motions.  On any job it is easy to become alienated and loose sight of your goal and this will lead to a decline in craftsmanship.  You either care about what you are doing, or you are indifferent, however it is human nature to want to improve things, even when they are not broke.  Since necessity is the root of invention, people are going to try to change things that are working well, because they feel a need to solve things that they perceive as being a problem.  Like the phrase necessity is mother of invention, it is also said that simplicity is father of common sense and when things are working properly sometimes it is best to let it be.

Written for Fandango’s February Expressions FFE Daily Adage – “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

14 thoughts on “Being a Perfectionist

  1. the secret of life done well is easy to figure out but not hard to perfect – it’s WHEN to be a perfectionist. Some things demand your very best -often your career (espeically if you’re say a surgeon!) , maybe a hobby that you are very serious about, your main relationship / spouse – and when you don’t need to be. For me, that is things like making the bed- I make it daily but don’t care too much if the corners are square and even – maybe shaving, etc etc. Each person will be different but if you get caught up trying to be perfect in everything, your life will be far from… perfect!

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  2. Good points in here. I tried to make a relationship work with an OCD man who kept trying to fix unbroken things, and it was impossible. He couldn’t hold a job and never got anything done.

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