How Perfectionism Hinders Our Happiness

TGIF! Thank goodness it’s … almost Friday and thanks to Amanda for making Thursdays that great time to think out loud and let our thoughts run free. If I’m being honest with you …


…  I had a completey different post planned for today. It’s been sitting in my drafts folder for a while and I’ve been excited to share it and hear your opinion. One of those posts that just flow when you sit down to write them out. Or actually they start unfolding in your head way before you even get to write them out. Yes, that kind. It has happed before. Yet I’m sitting here now letting you know I won’t publish it. Why? Because perfectionism took over again.


The same is what has happened whenever I find an employment add for [what sounded to be like] the perfect job for me. I got beyond excited because oh.em.geee it couldn’t get any better. Essentially every family member/friend/you-name-it knew how it was the one and only job I’d ever wanted before the possible future employer got the slightest notice.

Or the mail to that super inspiring person I want to tell how much I appreciate finding their blog and want to ask for some advice. Once more: semi-typed out right already. Even if just in my head.

Do you notice what all of these have in common? I’m excited. I want the outcome [post, application letter, mail] to be perfect. Only: more often than not what happens then is … nothing. I get too anxious to hit publish. In the worst cases I spend so much time revising every last sentence in an application I miss the deadline [okay, this has really only happened once or twice but I’m definitely a close-to-deadline candidate].

Perfectionism doesn’t make us happy.

Perfectionism keeps us from living life freely.

Perfectionism – at worst – makes us less productive and keeps us from reaching our goals and dreams.

In short: Perfection isn’t a surefire recipe for success.


There’s nothing inherently wrong with the desire to ensure quality content and deliver great work. It only become a problem when it keeps you from actively living, being spontaneous and reaching for your dreams.

How bad would it actually be to publish a post that isn’t 100 % flawless? Will one or two sentences that I feel don’t sound convincing enough keep potential future employers from inviting me for a job interview? And won’t a fellow blogger appreciate any kind of positive feedback even if there are a few grammatical errors? Chances are the world won’t stop spinning and our dreams won’t fall apart if not everything we do is entirely perfect. But if we keep editing our posts forever, not sending out those applications or don’t chat up the cute guy because we’re not sure what would be the ‘best’ way to start a conversation – we end up unhappy.


Blogging has actually helped me let loose of perfection on a small scale. Once I do hit publish I close the tab and don’t look at my post again for a while. Yes, I know that’s somewhat strange but it’s the only way that works 😉 . An additional goal of mine for 2015 is to easen up on my need to be perfect further. It hasn’t gotten me anywhere – and it certainly didn’t make me happy.

Now to perfect put the finishing touches on that post I mentioned at the beginning … Next week?! For now, I’ll see it as progress to not edit the heck out of this very post but publish it right away. I live on the wild side, I know …


Happiness-inducing today: A mail from my dad.

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Tell me about you and perfectionism! Has it ever kept you from actually acting?

Bloggers: Are you the type-a-post and publish kind of person or editing multiple times?

… and anything else you want to add on the topic.