Trying to be the perfect mom, the perfect co-worker or the perfect spouse can be exhausting. But is striving for perfection an impossible task?
“You can’t have perfection in an imperfect world,” says Elliot Cohen, author of “The Dutiful Worrier: How to Stop Compulsive Worry Without Feeling Guilty.” “When someone demands perfection ... they create frustration for all.”
Cohen says high demands often stem from guilt, and that the need for perfection can create a worrying cycle that is physically and mentally taxing. “It’s important to realize there are some things you can control and some you can’t,” says Cohen. “Our logical mind knows this, but our emotions step in and we think, ‘But I can be the exception to the rule.’
“When we try to perfect too many things, we lose the ability to go all out on the things that are really important to us,” adds Becky Beaupre Gillespie, co-author of “Good Enough is the New Perfect: Finding Happiness and Success in Modern Motherhood.”
Gillespie’s advice: Switch from being the best to doing your best. “It’s honing in on the priorities and being realistic.” And never compare yourself. “If one mom is teach- ing her child Mandarin Chinese and bragging about it on the playground, you can’t get competitive. ... There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach.”