The Pain of Perfection

For many people, the desire and commitment to do their 'best', can easily morph into an obsessional attempt to be 'perfect'.
'Perfectionism' is often one of the major maintaining and controlling factors for a person who is suffering from an eating disorder.
'Perfection' is an impossibility, but it is a often believed to be THE goal to aspire to reach. This belief will only result in failure and probable exhaustion from attempting to reach this impossible state of being.
The pursuit of perfection may result in a number of situations. A person may realize that they are aiming for the impossible, and simply relax and enjoy a more attainable goal.
What may also happen, which may not seem obvious at first, is that the person who has been the 'high achiever' will begin to feel depressed and hopeless, and be unable to accomplish much of anything in their daily life. They may consider themselves lazy and depressed, and have considerable problems doing even the most simple things. They may reach a point of apathy.
Could this be a result or an extension of the 'perfectionism'? I think it may.

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i read an academic article about perfection and eds. of course the will for perfection may lead to an ed but at the end of the day isnt everyone trying to be perfect in their own way?

I wouldn't say that the attempt to be perfect leads to an eating disorder, or vice verse, but I do think there is often a connection. I don't think that everyone is trying to be perfect in their own way. Many may struggle with this, but for the most part, I believe that most people try to find their way in life by doing their best to live by the standards they set for themselves and to find true happiness. I suppose that 'perfect' could be a relative term, so what we settle for in that respect is always different. Thanks for your input!! Jan ♥

I just started reading "Too Perfect" by Allan Mallenger per your suggestion and it is excellent; right on the money. There is a definition connection with ED, although I think not necessarily everyone's ED is a result of perfectionism if that makes any sense. But for those of us with serious "control" issues it is a very insightful read
Thanks Jan!

I'm glad that you are reading this. I think it contains some important insight and tools for taking steps to begin to step away from this mindset. Please continue to share what you find to be pertinent. Thanks Molly!! Jan ♥

Perfection = trying to find ghosts.
One will never be get there.
In my point of view, trying to achieve perfection is another way to look for unhappiness.
What is perfect for you may be unperfect for another.
One's Perfectionism is Unperfect! The World is not only yours, one must GIVE and TAKE as it is.

Sorry, bad day and bad mood here but PERFECTION makes me a little sick!

Have a good weekend all!

My last therapist seemed to think that my pursuit of perfection WAS an indication that I thought I was better than everyone else. I tried to show her how that wasn't true, but I don't think she really got it. Thank you for explaining that so well! :) Perfectionism, for me, has been fueled by low self esteem. It IS defeating. I think my messy house (at the moment) ;0) reflects that sense of giving up and feeling like a failure. It seems contrary to say I need to LOWER the bar! My job as an educator is to continually RAISE it! But I am also trained in setting achievable goals. Measurable. We do NOT want our students to feel like they've been set up to fail! So... What's that say about how we treat ourselves when we chase after the perfection myth? We set ourselves up to fail... Self-fulfilling prophecy? I don't know...

Thanks for the thought provoking post, as always! ♥