Perfectionism is Bad For You


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I used to be a perfectionist, and it damaged me in more than one way. Over the years I have recognized this problem, and I am almost getting over it. But one step back, what is perfectionism? Quoting Wikipedia:

Perfectionism, in psychology, is a belief that perfection can and should be attained. In its pathological form, perfectionism is a belief that work or output that is anything less than perfect is unacceptable. At such levels, this is considered an unhealthy belief, and psychologists typically refer to such individuals as maladaptive perfectionists.

When you behave with perfectionism, you basically want to make things perfect, or not make them at all. Why is this bad for you? Because more often than not you will get blocked and paralyzed if you try to make things perfect. Even if you manage to make them perfect at one point, it might be too late to reap the rewards from it.

Practically speaking, how can perfectionism affect you badly on the Internet? In several ways, here are some examples:

  • You might never launch that website you had planned just because you can’t seem to find the perfect structure for it
  • You might spend too much time tweaking your design because you want to make it perfect, and on the mean while you neglect the content part which is far more important
  • You might never publish that big article just because you can’t seem to make it perfect and ready to be published
  • You might end up never trying that money making idea because it is not perfect and could not work out

You get the idea. Striving for excellence is a good thing, but you should realize that this will come along the way and from constant trial and error and adaptions. If you always try to get it perfected right from the beginning, you will get blocked and paralyzed.

In other words: Start with anything that is good enough, and improve it from there.

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