Are you dissatisfied regardless of how much you achieve and how great a relationship you have? Is your work or that of your partner never good enough? Do your overly high standards let you down and sabotage your relationship?
Perfectionism versus Excellence
It is important to differentiate between perfectionism and excellence. Perfectionism relates to setting extremely high standards and having unrealistic expectations of yourself and of your partner, and being displeased with anything else. While it is good to have high standards, it becomes a problem when the standards are so high that it becomes almost impossible or unrealistic to achieve them.
It is a very good way to set ourselves up for failure in a relationship and in life. Despite great successes and achievements, perfectionists will be dissatisfied (even when they and their partner excel at what they do and have a wonderful relationship) and rather than celebrating their successes, will feel that they haven’t done enough.
In contrast, excellence relates to being extremely good and competent at whatever we set out to learn or do. It is about being the best you can be, continually improving and learning to reach higher levels of performance, and growing as a person and as a couple in a relationship. Excellent people, partners and couples celebrate their successes and acknowledge themselves before setting their next achievable goal. This acknowledgement, in turn, breeds more success.
Having perfectionist tendencies can have many possible negative consequences in a relationship with a partner, including:
- Procrastination: putting off doing things (e.g. getting married or having a baby) because everything is not perfect
- Indecision: difficulty making a decision (e.g. buying a house) for fear it will not be perfect
- Lost opportunities: missing out on opportunities due to the above
- Beating up on self: nothing is ever good enough and they are never satisfied with their appearance, successes and achievements, which can result in low self esteem
- Unrealistic expectations: expecting their partner to be perfect so they may have conflicts in their relationship when their partner makes a mistake. They may even nit-pick over the smallest things.
- Sabotaging relationships: their partner is never good enough so being overly critical of their partner even if their partner does a great job. This may push their partner away and can even lead to a break up.
- Lack of trust in others: their partner is not perfect and never does the job right, therefore they can’t be trusted with anything
- Too much pressure to perform: putting too much pressure on self to do even more, resulting in excess stress, taking on too much and not spending enough quality time with their partner
- Lack of happiness in self and in life: nothing is ever good enough to create happiness within and around them, so they are unhappy with their partner and what they do, and never feel happy in their relationship.
From Perfectionism to Excellence
We all have the potential to excel by accessing more of our infinite unconscious resources. It is only our self doubts, fears and limiting beliefs (including those around perfectionism) that prevent us from fully accessing those infinite resources and that limit us from excelling. Once those limitations are addressed, we can turn perfectionism into excellence, and our happiness and success in our relationship with our partner will improve significantly.
Importantly, we will then also acknowledge and celebrate our own and our partner’s successes, which will empower us to appreciate and acknowledge the positives in ourselves and our relationship. Over time, this will assist us with creating a more loving and fulfilling relationship with our partner.
Dr. Vesna Grubacevic is an author, speaker, media commentator, the founder and Performance Transformation Expert® with award-winning company, Qt. She is the creator of breakthrough behavioural change techniques, holds a PhD, a BEc and has over 35 years’ business experience. She is passionate about helping people to improve their relationships and confidence. Her Amazon best-selling book, Stop Sabotaging Your Confidence, has also been gifted to Hollywood and Australian award winners, nominees, hosts and celebrities. For more free resources on improving your relationships, please visit www.qttransformation.com.
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