“Perfectionism is unforgiving. It demands nothing less than achieving total success by meeting the highest standards of excellence. To do less is to be mired in mediocrity and steeped in failure. Perfectionism offers the promise of control, leading us to believe that the bitter taste of loss and its accompaniments – disappointment, disapproval, and rejection – can be avoided.
The truth is we cannot avoid loss, no matter how perfect we try to be. But this truth is not a call to wave the slacker’s flag, to do as little as possible, or to give up. Rigidly imposing impossibly high expectations on ourselves and others at all costs can actually make it harder to reach our goals. This kind of perspective and behavior affects our happiness. It is maladaptive. We’re much better off when our desires to work hard and to pursue excellence are adaptive and flexible.”
Donald Altman, in “One Minute Mindfulness”
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