Does everything you do have to be perfect? How much does it bother you when things go well, but did not happen in the ideal fashion that you envisioned? If you hate mistakes and never seem to be satisfied with "good" or even "great," you are probably struggling with perfectionism. While having high standards is wonderful and being motivated to improve is admirable, longing for perfection can lead to unhealthy self-esteem and can damage relationships. You can turn a perfectionist attitude into positive energy, if you set your mind on the process rather than the result.
Embracing Your Shortcomings
Life is not meant to be perfect, it is meant to be good. The definition of excellence is "extremely good" or "outstanding." When you wrestle with perfectionism, even excellence falls short of your standards. The first step is learning to appreciate and celebrate what is excellent or just good. Enjoy having done well without dwelling on what could have been better.
Everyone has their ideals. It is good to have a clear image of exactly what you want and to strive towards that image. It is important, however, to consider reality. This is not to say that you should lower your standards, or stop trying to achieve as much as you can, but what this means is that you need to set goals that are realistic. It might be painful to take a hard look at your weaknesses and flaws, but they are a part of reality. Rather than stubbornly deciding to go after an impossible goal, get to know and accept yourself, and start small.
Work hard and do your best. You may actually find that you are happier and more successful if you can appreciate the "work in progress" status of your life.
Accepting Faults in Others
Be more understanding of other people's faults. Even the most wonderful friends and family members will let you down eventually. Be forgiving, and let them know that it is alright to make mistakes, as it is human nature. Rather than raining down disappointment upon your spouse, child, or other loved ones, encourage them to improve.
There is nothing wrong with setting standards and expressing expectations to others. It can be problematic, however, to demand constant excellence without room for error. While you may have the best of intentions for pushing him/her to be better, your perfectionist attitude might be counterproductive. Be realistic in your expectations, and understand the weaknesses of others.
The mortal soul is subject to temptation and free will. You must, therefore, be prepared when others fall short of what you desire for them, and understand that your ideals for another person may not be the same as theirs. The best thing that you can do for someone you love is to be supportive. Criticism is much more effective, if it is coming from a supportive and encouraging person.
Aim to appreciate less than perfect achievements and situations in your life, while still moving forward. Accept that step by step, you and others can progress over time, and the trick is to enjoy the journey.