What are the differences between Perfectionism and Excellence

And why Excellence is a better for you and everyone else!

Aiming for perfection always in our lives – our expectations of reality, our expectations of ourselves, our tasks, our relationships. Excellence, experts and psychologists suggest, is a healthier goal. It allows us to meet high standards and still leave room for mistakes. This article highlights contrasts in the influence and effects of each approach:

(source: Psychology Today – Dr Barbara Markway; Forbes – Angela Civitella)



Strive for impossible goalsEnjoy meeting high standards within reach
Value themselves by what they doValue themselves by who they are
When they run into difficulty, they get easily overwhelmed and give upExperience temporary disappointment, but keep going
Can be devastated by failureLearns from failure
Remember mistakes, dwell on themCorrect mistakes and learns from them
Wants to be number oneCan live with not being the best, especially when they know they’ve tried their hardest
Hates criticismSee criticism as a way to learn
Have to win to keep high self-esteemCan finish second and still feel good about themselves
How things appear to others and whether they’re done rightHave a reason for actions, being driven by that purpose to achieve success
Sets up for failure, drains, causes pain and the disillusionment of not being up to parRazor-sharp focus to execute and accomplish what matters and what needs to get done to achieve
No gain, little reward, no joy or sense of accomplishment; only disillusionmentAllows you to be productive, stay the course, keep the end goal in sight

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