Comparing Yourself to Perfection

This post was inspired by a post written in 2007 by Michael Kwan of beyond the rhetoric. I was reading a current post a few weeks ago in which the post “The Quandary of Comparing Yourself to Others” had the same tag. I went on to read the older post and it struck a cord with me, not about comparing myself to others, but comparing myself to my vision of what I thought I should be.

Interestingly, I always feel like I never live up to what I’m supposed to be able to do. In other words, I set perfection as my goal and can’t ever knowingly achieve it. I’m not failing in the eyes of others, but to myself I am. After reading Michael’s post I contemplated my own view of what I want out of myself and is it realistic. Should I be setting such lofty goals to achieve? Should I worry about what I haven’t completed when I look at the goal?

The answers I came up with were no and no. With those answers I changed my thought process and have actually become more relaxed and have been able to congratulate myself on the accomplishments that I do have. If I can’t get to a task, I realize that I did my best and it will still be there in the morning to finish. At the end of the day I know that I have given my best, put in a full day and can be proud of the work I’ve done.

Perfection might be nice, but it’s not worth the happiness of doing your best and enjoying yourself. If you are like me, give yourself a break, work to enjoy, there is more to life than perfection.



3 thoughts on “Comparing Yourself to Perfection

  1. Well said. I tend to set lofty goals for myself too and it can be a downer when I don’t achieve these goals. I don’t remember who said it, but they said something like we shouldn’t fear that we won’t reach our goals; we should fear that we will. Similarly, I’ve been told it is better to aim for the stars and come up short than to aim for the lowest hanging fruit and get it.

    • Thanks 🙂 It seems to me that perfection is a little to high to set goals. Maybe getting the job done on time would be a good goal, but getting it done early is better. I’m reminded of Scotty from Star Trek who always said he couldn’t get it done in the time allotted and somehow did it with time to spare. I will always try go further than needed, but I’m not going to stress if I don’t get that far.

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