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Is Perfectionism Hurting My Happiness?

Many of us have an idea of how we’d like our life to be. From daily life to five years in the future, we have goals and dreams and plans. To put these ideas into motions, we often create an outline for what actions need to happen, how we must behave, and who we should become.

Whether your goal is to buy a house, start a relationship, or even to write the next bestseller, we start to make changes to our lifestyle. We imagine what attributes someone who has accomplished these goals would have.

Discipline is added to our daily routine. We lay out exactly what should take place in order for these dreams to become a reality. The difference between following your plan in a healthy way and perfectionism can be very hard to tell.

Ultimately, we will find that our disposition and lives are affected by how intensely we try to realize these goals and plans. When our perfectionism is too intense, it can hurt our happiness and how likely we are to achieve our ideal life.

The opposite effect may occur and we may find ourselves less passionate and positive than when we commenced our efforts. 

There Is No Such Thing as Perfect

In our noble attempts to make a change in our lives, we sometimes forget that life will always have changes and setbacks. Not every day is the same.

When we outline the ideas we have to attain our goals, it’s important to remember that not all things go exactly according to plan. Even more important, it is critical to not punish ourselves or become discouraged when this inevitably happens.

For example, let’s say your goal is to work on your appearance. You plan to go to the gym once a day, make changes to your diet to match your athletic lifestyle, and possibly even adjust your sleep schedule, all to see the results that you have envisioned.

This is a wonderful program to begin, in a healthy way. The first week might go exactly according to your plan, and you feel inspired to complete your goal. However, perfectionism can be harmful when you respond negatively to the natural curveballs of life.

Perhaps one day you couldn’t make it to the gym, or the grocery store ran out of the food you planned to eat for the week. Maybe one night you stayed up a little too late to complete a task.

Plans may change, but sometimes we let this throw us completely off course and feel that our efforts are futile or that our dreams cannot be achieved. Diligence is admirable, but you must go easy on yourself, and accept that every day is a new opportunity. 

Allow Room For Growth

Even the most perfect plans have room for growth. We learn new things all the time, and these new pieces of information can be implemented to make our goals even more attainable. If we only adhere to our original plan and resist the chances to make changes as we grow and obtain helpful knowledge, we may find ourselves more frustrated trying to accomplish whatever we set out to do.

Leaving room for growth is so important because individually we are always changing. Believing that we have the perfect plan can be detrimental. It’s okay to ask for help when an aspect of our program isn’t working how we had imagined.

Looking at where we can make alterations to improve can be inspiring and push us towards our goal even faster and with more passion. There is strength in knowledge, and information is being changed and found every minute of every day.

Try to practice accepting that there may be more for you to learn and that new doesn’t mean bad. Don’t punish yourself for not outlining the most accurate plan, instead leave room for growth and new ideas. It will make achieving your goals more satisfying and your journey to reaching them more pleasant! 


At The Guest House Ocala, our experience with addiction and recovery makes us uniquely equipped to be able to understand the struggles you’re experiencing. We’re here to help. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information on our treatment programs.