Let’s clear something up right now! When we talk about Growth Mindset, we aren’t talking about perfectionism. In fact, tryingto be perfect can hinder your mindset.

Read on and I’ll explain.

There is a difference between excellence and perfection. You will never be perfect. Nobody is! However, you can strive for excellence!

Some mistakenly think that cultivating a growth mindset is a form of perfectionism. That’s not true. Growing your mindset is about improving and achieving excellence, not perfection. We aren’t perfect and we never will be!

There is another misconception. It says that, even if perfectionism isn’t part of a growth mindset, being a perfectionist is an aid to achieving a growth mindset. To this I would say, “No! No! No!’ Perfectionism actually works against achieving a growth mindset.

It’s a problem, and let me show you how.

Perfectionism is Compulsive
Again, no one is perfect, and no one can become so. Perfectionists not only deny this essential facet of the human experience, but they continuously try to disprove it. The desire to reach beyond the boundaries of the good into the realm of the perfect isn’t just a desire for them -it exceeds that and becomes a compulsion. T

his is a legitimate mental illness that often needs professional help to overcome. Even when it’s not that severe, compulsions aren’t compatible with a growth mindset.

Perfectionism Doesn’t Mean Growth
Not only are they different, these two are almost opposite one another. Perfectionism is about achieving a single goal of perfection and staying there. That’s impossible.

Growth, on the other hand, is about constantly growing and changing and trying to improve. They aren’t the same thing.

Perfectionism Is Driven by Fear
The driving force behind perfectionism isn’t a desire to improve oneself or to do better, much less to grow. The driving force behind it is fear, usually fear of failure.

This is unhealthy and can lead to serious issues such as burnout, stress, and depression. It can even result in the failure the perfectionist fears so much.

Perfectionism is Often Counterproductive
People who are perfectionists tend to believe that doubling down on the things that have worked in the past -working more hours, getting more credentials, etc. -is the surefire way to future success. This sometimes works -for a while. But eventually, it stops, because the rules of success change at different levels, and the end result is depression, anxiety, and burnout.

Is there any hope for a perfectionist? Yes.

Relax. Realize that no one – including you – is perfect.

Take a deep breath and think of some small changes you would like to make. As you love yourself and others while you love your work, you’ll accomplish more than you thought you could.

And let me say it again, “relax!”

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