However, there is a big difference between striving for excellence and striving for perfection.Excellence is attainable because, be definition, it allows for the fact that we will fall short of perfection.Excellence presumes that we are doing the best we can do on a project.

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However, all of those patients I have seen over the years who are perfectionists are anxious, depressed and obsessive in their thinking.

Many of them suffer from some combination of procrastination, an inability to get things done, a tendency to be work-a-holics and either under-achievement or over-achievement.

How does perfectionism work to make so many people unhappy?

First, it is important to understand that human beings cannot be perfect.

If you have a religious bent to your thinking and living, then realize that on the God can be perfect.

Human beings are flawed creatures as are all other living creatures on this earth.

That does not mean that we should not strive for excellence.

Do you demand that everything you do is of the highest quality and above any criticism? I can imagine you responding to this latter sentence with something like: "he’s awfully presumptuous!

How dare he make judgments of other people without knowing them?

" Well, I do not wish to sound either presumptuous or judgmental.

Instead, what I am sounding is a cautionary note based on certain types of people who enter therapy seeking relief from anxiety and depression.