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Opinion

Opinion: Perfectionists? Not so perfect

Striving for perfection is hard on mental and emotional health.
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/lukehuang726/" target="_self">Luke Huang</a>

Luke Huang

June 4, 2022
Perfectionists. By definition, these are people who refuse to accept any standard short of perfection and are accompanied by critical self-evaluation and concerns regarding others’ evaluations.

Unfortunately, being a perfectionist is actually toxic. There is no value to striving for perfection because perfectionists come up with unrealistic and unattainable standards.

Persevering and not giving up is really admirable. However, it is not possible to attain perfection, which therefore makes it actually a pointless endeavor. You would only be wasting time. You have heard of the popular saying that “nobody is perfect.” There’s a reason why this saying is so popular — it is absolutely true. 

For example, I like to play basketball. In my opinion, basketball is one of the hardest sports to master. I like to work on my weaknesses like my dribbling, but there is no way I could practice so much that I never lose the ball ever again.

Even Kyrie Irving, an NBA basketball player that is arguably one of the most skilled ball handlers ever, drops the ball sometimes. This means that everyone is prone to make mistakes, and it is unrealistic to expect perfection. It is just human nature to not be able to reach perfection and we shouldn’t. It is just not reality. 

It is pointless to strive for perfection because it is unattainable. Rather, what we should be doing is aiming for the best versions of ourselves and accepting that we will face failure, make mistakes and have faults. This is the only way to improve yourself and reach anywhere close to perfection.

Striving for perfection is also hard on mental and emotional health. Never being satisfied can lead to poor self-esteem, so instead of striving for perfection, one should shoot for reachable goals and improve from there instead of just aiming for the top. 

Not having self-confidence because of unrealistic and unattainable goals is one of the big reasons why striving for perfection has no good value. One of the best and saddest examples of these kinds of people are also from the NBA, Kevin Love, someone who wasn’t actually aware of his deteriorating mental health. 

As early as high school, he said he had periods of depression and eventually his entire identity began to be wrapped around his basketball performance, bringing him to a more depressing state. Although Love has found the help he needed and has learned to willingly share his story, the fact he was putting himself under so much pressure from such a young age to perform his best at every game is one of the major reasons for his mental health issues. This shows us how having these ridiculous and unrealistic ambitions only brings you down rather than up in a positive manner.

Overall, it is not a bad thing to be ambitious and persevere to become better but striving for perfection is not only unrealistic but unattainable, thus making striving for perfection have no value.

From Marshall student to Marshall coach and teacher

From Marshall student to Marshall coach and teacher

Joseph Manahan loves John Marshall High School. He graduated in 1995 and has never left. Well, he did for a few years when he went to college, but in 2002, he came back to teach English, geometry, algebra, and coach the Girls' JV & Varsity volleyball teams. He...