Goodbye perfectionism, you won’t be missed…

I recently took a perfectionism quiz.  The results said I’m a ‘high achiever’ and that, while I strive toward perfection, I have a healthy understanding of what is and isn’t possible, and that I’m able to enjoy the journey without getting overly hung up on the results.  I really like that assessment except for the part where it said I strive toward perfection.  You see, I’m a reformed perfectionist.  I’m a fledgling excellentist.  Since that word hasn’t made it into the dictionary yet, I’m obviously charting relatively new territory.  But I’m thinking excellentism could be the wave of the future.

I’m really not sure how perfectionism became such a desirable pursuit in the first place.  Perfectionism is universally described in a negative connotation, not to mention that it’s inherently unattainable.  There can be no conceivable outcome from its pursuit than misery.  I know this firsthand because the pursuit of perfectionism did, in fact, make me miserable.

My decision to be come an excellentist is a relatively recent one but it’s already changed me for the better.  I’m doing more things in moderation, I’m more realistic about what I can and cannot do,  I’m happier, and I’m finally starting to like me for me.

So far, the pursuit of excellence has been a freeing experience.  My perspective is sharper, my priorities are more defined, and my outlook is far more positive.  I think I’m more of a Joy to be around.  So, I don’t know about you but I’m giving perfectionism the boot, and choosing the more excellent way.



4 thoughts on “Goodbye perfectionism, you won’t be missed…

  1. Hi Joy,
    Great post. I really like the chart. I think I should get a big wall-sized version of it and plaster my wall with it. “Excellentism” is so much better than perfectionism.
    Keep on ‘keeping on’.

    1. Hi Beverly,
      I agree that a big wall-sized version of the chart would be perfect for the days I succumb to amnesia and need a larger than life version to remind me of the truths I already know. Maybe we can inspire each other on to ‘excellentism’. Not that we tend to ‘default’ to perfectionism … lol… 🙂

  2. I am a counseling student that has been studying perfectionism for the last year and while doing some lighter and more fun-oriented research, I came across this entry today and I had to let you know how awesome it is. I am very passionate about perfectionism and I love specializing in it, but despite how much I know about this construct I am still a perfectionist myself. I have never read anything like what you wrote in this post and I think it’s a simple yet amazing way to think about the reduction of maladaptive perfectionism. Replacing perfectionism with excellentism is a fantastic way to reframe this construct and I will be making a note to use this with future clients. I really enjoyed your post and how you described doing things in moderation and what you have seen change for the better. Thank you for sharing this, I know this was 4 years ago but I’m glad it came up on my computer today. Keep on inspiring!


    1. Thank you so much for the wonderful feedback, Cort!! What great encouragement! Perfectionism is a topic that’s still close to my heart because it’s been part of my entire life. I know the concept of replacing perfectionism with excellentism may seem simplistic to some but I’m a walking example of it’s transformative powers. I like to say that I’m a perfectionist at heart but an excellentist in practice. Thank you again for taking the time to comment! It’s made my day to know that I’ve made a difference!! Joy

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