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The Pursuit of Excellence, Not Perfection.

We live in a society where doing your best is simply not good enough anymore. From work commitments, to social gatherings, school fees to rent. We are bombarded in every aspect by a consumerist society that just wants us to do more! Unfortunately it is having negative ramifications on our children. The children of today are being brought up with a perfectionist attitude and its becoming an epidemic.

Perfectionism is unachievable. It would be great if we could achieve all we set out to in life but unfortunately that is simply not the nature of the world. A perfectionist viewpoint is essentially setting us up for failure, so then what? You may ask.

We need to teach our children to pursue excellence. Perfectionism leads to a fear of failure and an irrational belief that everything has to always go our way. Excellence however is both rational and achievable. You are simply doing the best that you can. This paradigm shift thus serves to eradicate anxiety, fear and dread and rather encourages excitement and motivation.

The perfectionist will never be happy with her efforts which effects self esteem, self worth and confidence. One can never attain true happiness if they work from a fear based paradigm. However excellence on the other hand allows people to free up their creative mind and actually enjoy the process. Life is at the end of the day about the journey, and if you and your children are not going to enjoy it, then what’s the point?

Try shifting your own mindset and that of your children. Here are a few examples to get you started…

  • A perfectionist is driven by fear of disappointment, yet in the pursuit of excellence we are inspired by passion

  • A perfectionist’s self esteem is based on external sources of accomplishment, whereas in the pursuit of excellence you have an intrinsic value and an internal positive locus of control

  • As a perfectionist you feel you must be strong and not show vulnerabilities, yet in the pursuit of excellence you can share doubts and vulnerabilities with others

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