Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

The Problem with Perfection

Author: Paulo Coelho

taken from a post by Mel Schwartz

I have often counseled people who were beleaguered by their need to be perfect. I have come to learn that their pursuit of perfection is really a disguise for their insecurity.
It becomes a statement that I’m not good enough just as I am. When we do that, we judge ourselves.

Usually we strive toward being perfect to compensate for a sense of inadequacy.

People who want to be perfect usually have an exaggerated sense of their own shortcomings.

They typically received messages earlier in life that they weren’t good enough. So they decided that only by being perfect would they be beyond reproach.
With such an affliction we might look at perfectionism as a compensation for earlier life experiences -wave collapses “” that corrupted someone’s well-being and self-esteem.
As a compensatory response, the drive toward perfection is erroneously sought as a solution.

Perfectionists tend to think that other people are somehow better or superior to them, so they need to be without flaw just to catch up.
This is a terribly damaging myth.

Individuals who seek perfection are more sensitive to the judgments of others. In fact, these judgments are most often imagined.

Everyone has an opinion, but elevating someone else’s opinion to the status of being a judge is really silly. After all, someone else can’t really judge you unless you confer upon him or her, the power of being a judge.

Subscribe to Blog

Join 16.9K other subscribers

Stories & Reflections


Paulo Coelho Foundation

Gifts, keepsakes and other souvenirs