Individual Wellbeing and Career Experiences
Edited by Ronald J. Burke, Kathryn M. Page and Cary Cooper
Chapter 3: Managing perfectionism and the excessive striving that undermines flourishing: implications for leading the perfect life
One of life’s great ironies is that trying to be perfect and striving to have the perfect life can actually result in just the opposite. Many people live their lives according to the formula that if they can just be perfect, including being perfectly successful, then they will be happy and they will be loved, admired, and respected by the people who matter to them. Unfortunately, in most instances, this is not the case. Even in those rare instances when perfection is attained, there is no guarantee that this will result in appreciable improvements in how the perfectionist is treated and regarded by significant others. Another problem is that achieving perfection can often add additional pressure for the perfectionists, who now feel that they must prove that the first time was no fluke. Finally, a third problem is that attaining perfectionism may not ameliorate the self-doubts and nagging feelings of inferiority that result in compulsive striving to be perfect.
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