Juliana Mun along with guests, Eve Bamber and Brooke Bolinger, give you their take on perfectionism.

The Downside 


“Always strive for perfection.” 


Society drills this idea of perfectionism into our heads and praises people who fit the quota of flawless. This has made me wonder about the validity of this idea and how it affects people on a daily basis. As many know, ideas like this can be good as motivation, but can also have a downside of pressuring people to be something they can never be and hence be toxic for those said people. 


Today we dive behind the bright light of perfectionism, into the shadows that are the result of such a bright light that is cast. 


Hurts More Than You Think


My math teacher in middle school constantly scrutinized me for my mistakes. 


When grading my work, she constantly furrowed her eyebrows in disappointment and it made me feel small. At that moment, I didn’t define myself anymore… my mistakes did and that is how it starts for so many people. Perfectionism is a way of thinking that stunts your growth because you keep going back and forth on what you did wrong. It also makes you skip over everything good you do and forces you to look at the bad, at your mistakes, instead of being proud of what you did do. 


This way of thinking is toxic to your daily life and according to researchers, can even lead to a decay in health. It has been shown to impact your mental health, your self-esteem, and you even tend to be more negative and down than people who don’t worry about perfection. It amplifies self-criticism and decreases your self-worth, because if you amount to all your imperfections, then how can you cope? 


Even Them? 


You are certainly not alone in your thinking if you too fall into the traps of perfectionism. 


As an avid and competitive tennis player, Brooke Bolinger suffers alike with this and she told me, “When I train and play tournaments, I put so much pressure on myself to not give up and that I always have to win, “ Continuing to say, “Perfectionism can be very unhealthy because you are always comparing yourself and trying to be something you are not. Being perfect is impossible, everyone makes mistakes no matter how hard they try not to.” 


Eve Bamber, our EIC at iHOOT, has a similar experience with many responsibilities and expectations on her back. “Perfectionism is a big part of who I am, and can both help and hurt the things I do in my everyday life, especially in academics. Overall, I have big goals and put a lot of pressure on myself as I work to achieve them” She adds, “Perfectionism, especially the way I may experience it, is a type of obsession and can at times, be all-consuming. If I don’t earn a hundred in an assignment, for example, there’s a constant knowledge of ‘I could’ve done better…if you allow it to consume you, perfectionism can be very unhealthy. “


The point is perfectionism is spreading with the new modern epidemic of social media, as we compare ourselves more frequently to others that seem more perfect. More in modern times, do students and adults struggle with the idea of being perfect and the never-ending list of what they need to change to achieve that goal. It almost seems hopeless. How can we run from this way of thinking, that starts and happens within ourselves? 


The best solution to this problem is battling it with the very opposite: 


You are good enough. 


You Prevail 


It’s harder to stop something than replace a bad habit with a good one. 


I find my time battling with perfectionism is filled with pretending and though that may seem terrible, it actually does work. When I repeat something so many times, it starts becoming true and I start believing the self complementing, despite what I’m usually inclined to believe. Instead of thinking, “This is not good enough”, I replace it with, “This is really good for me.” And when I start comparing myself to others, I replace that with comparing myself now to where I used to be. 


This change of mindset will bring to light everything good, rather than bad. Being overly optimistic can brighten your life without knowing it, as you realize how usually the good things about you will trump all the bad. Our guests also follow a similar approach and even advise our readers on what to do. 


Brooke Bolinger says, “This idea of perfectionism can never be fully achieved. It is something that many people do strive to accomplish, but it can hurt them in the process…. [Instead] take time to notice the positives of the world, and dismiss the small problems that are unnoticeable to others. It will make you feel much better about yourself and be happier throughout your days.” 


Eve Bamber also ends on a positive note, commenting, “Instead of thinking, “I could’ve done better,” work on switching your mindset to, “I did my very best.” which is the exact way to overcome perfectionism. Doing your best comes before being perfect because simply perfection in humans doesn’t exist and knowing that it never will is the first step to acceptance and growth. Good enough is good enough. Why would you ever want it another way? 


In the end, perfection is nothing but an illusion. 


With the right thinking, you can easily prevail. 




Ruggeri, A. R. (2018, February 20). The dangerous downsides of perfectionism. Www.Bbc.Com. Retrieved March 3, 2022, from