Perfectionism is a mental dysfunction. In psychology, it’s referred to as a personality trait hyperfocused on flawlessness and perfect performances.
A young patient, Dina, was a scholar in the university. Her life has been an endless report card on grades, accomplishments, and looks.
One evening, Dina was rushed to the hospital by her father. Her sister found her slumped on the floor of her room with bloody cuts on the wrists.
She tried to end it all. That time, she could no longer keep up with her grades due to severe social anxiety.
What makes perfectionism toxic is its negativity. It’s overly anxious on avoiding failure, mistakes, and messes … an impossibility in reality.
Even if you express love to a perfectionist after some misses, it isn’t enough comfort. The perfectionist is way too dependent or conditional on performance to feel loved.
Psychology Today magazine explains,
“There is a difference between striving for excellence and demanding perfection. The need for perfection is transmitted in small ways from parents to children, some as silent as a raised eyebrow over a B rather than an A.”
If you’re struggling with perfectionism, remember that “you are good enough.” You are worthy as you are because you exist.
You don’t have to prove your value to anyone, even to yourself. God has already placed that value on you and your life.
“Perfection is an illusion. Yet perfectionists demand it from others while being far from flawless themselves. The margin of error of the human condition is often our greatest area of excellence and discovery,” reminds writer Stewart Stafford.