Quotes to Inspire You to Stop Toxic Perfectionism
You may think that perfectionism helps people get things done. It doesn't.
You might think that perfectionism helps people get things done well. It doesn't.
You might think that perfectionism helps people be better partners and parents. It doesn't.
The reality is that perfectionism is toxic to relationships and life. It wears out the perfectionistic person and people they are close to.
Perfectionists are chronically disappointed in themselves and others. They have trouble trying to do things because of being immobilized by fear of failure.
What's in This Post
|The Meaning of Perfectionism Quotes
|Brené Brown Quotes about Perfectionism
|Perfection is Unattainable Quotes
|Perfection is Toxic Quotes
|Perfection Gets in the Way of Success Quotes
|The Benefits of Letting Go of Perfectionism Quotes
|Embrace Your Imperfection Quotes
|Strive for Excellence, Not Perfection Quotes
|Resources to Help You Overcome Toxic Perfectionism
I get more into the psychology of perfectionism in this post: The Link Between Perfectionism, Anxiety and Depression.
The Meaning of Perfectionism Quotes
Perfectionism is "a combination of excessively high personal standards and overly critical self-evaluations." –Thomas Curran and Andrew Hill
"Perfectionism isn’t a behaviour. It’s a way of thinking about yourself." –Andrew Hill
“At its root, perfectionism isn’t really about a deep love of being meticulous. It’s about fear. Fear of making a mistake. Fear of disappointing others. Fear of failure. Fear of success.” –Michael Law
Brené Brown Quotes about Perfectionism
“Perfectionism is not a way to avoid shame. Perfectionism is a form of shame.” –Brené Brown
“Perfectionism is not the same thing has striving to be your best. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgement, and shame. It’s a shield. It’s a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from flight.” –Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection
“Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life. Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it's often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis.” –Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection
“Healthy striving is self-focused: 'How can I improve?' Perfectionism is other-focused: 'What will they think?' –Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection
Perfection is Unattainable Quotes
“There is nothing perfect, no one can be perfect, and perfectionism is something you shouldn't chase.” –Shawn Crahan
No one is perfect… that's why pencils have erasers.
“A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.” –Albert Einstein
“In the end, perfection is just a concept—an impossibility we use to torture ourselves and that contradicts nature.” –Guillermo del Toro
Perfection is Toxic Quotes
"Perfectionists feel every bump in the road. They’re quite stress-sensitive." –Andrew Hill
"Perfectionism is internalized oppression." –Gloria Steinem
“Perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order.” –Anne Wilson Schaef
“Perfectionism doesn't believe in practice shots. It doesn't believe in improvement. Perfectionism has never heard that anything worth doing is worth doing badly—and that if we allow ourselves to do something badly we might in time become quite good at it. Perfectionism measures our beginner's work against the finished work of masters. Perfectionism thrives on comparison and competition. It doesn't know how to say, ‘Good try,’ or ‘Job well done.’ The critic does not believe in creative glee—or any glee at all, for that matter.” –Julia Cameron
Perfection Gets in the Way of Success Quotes
“Perfectionism is a delusion that can rob one of a very successful, enriching life if not careful.” –April Bryan
“I've learned how my own perfectionism can cripple me.” –Jennifer Nettles
“The most dangerous way we sabotage ourselves is by waiting for the perfect moment to begin. Nothing works perfectly the first time, or the first fifty times. Everything has a learning curve. The beginning is just that—a beginning. Surrender your desire to do it flawlessly on the first try. It's not possible. Learn to learn. Learn to fail. Learn to learn from failing. And begin today. Begin now. Stop waiting.” –Vironika Tugaleva
"Perfectionism magnifies your mistakes and minimizes your progress." –Jon Acuff
The Benefits of Letting Go of Perfectionism Quotes
“And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good. –John Steinbeck
“Welcoming imperfection is the way to accomplish what perfectionism promises but never delivers. It gives us our best performance and genuine acceptance in the family of human—and by that I mean imperfect—beings.” –Martha Beck
“If you wait for things to be perfect, you walk away with nothing. Just jump in and get started.” –Jennifer Ritchie Payette
Flowers have to be buds before they can be in full bloom. We don't wait to enjoy them until they are in full bloom. We enjoy them through each stage. Enjoy yourself and the things that you do through each stage too.
“If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.” –Margaret Atwood
“Good enough is good enough. Perfect will make you a big fat mess every time.” –Rebecca Wells
“Perfectionism may look good in his shiny shoes, but he's a bit of an asshole and no one invites him to their pool parties.” –Ze Frank
Embrace Your Imperfection Quotes
“Embrace being perfectly imperfect. Learn from your mistakes and forgive yourself, you’ll be happier.” –Roy Bennett
“Your darkest moments are not meant to be swept under the carpet, hidden from the world in the silent pursuit of perfection. The darkness you've overcome is your ticket into leadership. It's what you're meant to light up in the world.” – Vironika Tugaleva
“The fastest way to break the cycle of perfectionism and become a fearless mother is to give up the idea of doing it perfectly—indeed to embrace uncertainty and imperfection.” –Arianna Huffington
“I really believe that it is honesty about our imperfect selves that makes everyone do better and be better.” –Dan Pearce
Strive for Excellence, Not Perfection Quotes
"Striving for excellence motivates you; Striving for perfection is demoralizing." – Harriet Braiker
“Excellence does not require perfection.” –Henry James
Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing flawlessly.
Resources to Help You Overcome Toxic Perfectionism
I included worksheets for overcoming perfectionism in two of my workbooks.
If you struggle with anxiety, Becoming Calm: Silver Lining Anxiety and Stress Resilience Workbook and Journal is a good workbook/journal to start with.
Building Skills to Uplevel Life: Silver Lining Emotional Intelligence Workbook offers lots of great information, tips, and worksheets that can help with both depression and anxiety, while also providing tools for upleveling your life from any starting point.
- Ann Silvers