How Perfectionism Makes You Wait For What You Want

The most valuable and difficult thing I have ever learned is that perfection is a myth.

That lesson may sound obvious, because everyone knows perfection isn’t realistic. But I don’t think it’s quite that obvious anymore.

We’re deluged with perfect-looking people, food, workouts, and whatever you care to name. Sophisticated photo editing is within anyone’s reach. Not only that, but social media posts, which supposedly show real life, are actually just the good stuff. Rarely do we see someone who isn’t at their best on Instagram or Facebook.

Our expectations for ourselves and others are ever higher. And with the interwebz at our fingertips, we have no excuse to be imperfect. We should be able to fix any imperfections stat.

But I think it’s worth saying, even if it seems obvious: None of us will never attain the level of perfection we see on Instagram, blogs, or wherever. It’s a rule of nature that things are NOT perfect. (It may not be written in science books that way, but you get my meaning.)


The truth is that perfectionism kills inspiration, motivation, and progress. If you have do something perfectly and know you can’t, why even try?

I see lots of perfect-looking young bodies with perfect-looking form teaching fitness on the internet. I appreciate that they do this, because every time I try to record myself, my patience runs out before it looks perfect enough.

I’ve struggled with perfectionism my whole life and know how difficult it can be. But I finally learned that doing something is often good enough.

It depends, of course. At work, there are non-negotiable to-do’s that require every ounce of my best. At the gym, I give it my all. But there are still days when I don’t… because I’m human.

A day or week of missed workouts or of eating the “wrong” foods doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It means you’re human. You don’t have to hate on yourself for that.

As a writer, especially, I’ve learned that there is no perfection. Even with expert grammar and spelling, a piece of writing will never meet the needs of every reader. There’s always another angle you could have taken, another beginning, or another ending. Writing can never be perfect because writers are human.

Stop waiting to start fresh. Or “start fresh” as many times as you need. Better yet, just keep going because everything is a process – your whole life is a process, even the ending. By the time we all leave this world, we’re all still very imperfect.

Isn’t that beautiful?

You don’t always have to get it perfect for it to count. Effort counts for more – that’s what we teach our kids. So why do we think it doesn’t apply to us?

This article originally appeared on

8 thoughts on “How Perfectionism Makes You Wait For What You Want

  1. I totally agree. Patience and becoming an perfectionist is the key to basically every area in your life. Be it social life or gym – you have to work hard and be patient in order to achieve success in any field, there is just no other way.


  2. I agree with you. Being perfect can cost too much, I don’t mean only money. You can try every day to improve yourself but perfection is just an idea. It is not reachable. Even the mother nature is not perfect. If you see a rose you’ll see that it has black spots on it, but it is still beautiful.


  3. I completely agree! Waiting for the “perfect” moment/time can be worse than just going for it. I’ve had moments where I didn’t even finish a project or whatever I was working on because it wasn’t “perfect”. Sometimes you just have to jump!


  4. Great reminder, Suzanne! Perfection is the enemy of progress. Putting your energy into some kind of action at the gym is better than doing nothing at all. People put together ridiculous workout programs and still make progress because they’re doing something.


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