perfectionism ≠ perfection

完璧主義 ≠ 完璧

Have you ever heard about perfectionism? Perfectionism is defined as the personality trait characterized by a person's strive for flawlessness and high standards. Who wouldn’t want to be the person who is successful at everything? The person that is always achieving good results? Growing up I always strived to be a perfectionist because I was convinced that only by setting high standards I could obtain good results.

完璧主義という言葉を聞いたことがありますか?完璧主義とは、非の打ち所がなく、高い目標を超えるために努力する人を指す言葉です。全ての出来事で成功する人になりたくない人なんて、どこにいるでしょうか?常に良い結果を得る人は、どうでしょう?大人になるにつれて、私はいつも完璧主義者であろうとしていました。なぜなら、自分に高い要求を設定することによって、初めて良い結果を得ることができると確信していたからです。

However, my opinion has changed after my therapist suggested some readings concerning perfectionism to me. I’ve realised that perfectionism does not lead to perfection, rather it is a tendency to believe that everything should be carried out in a perfect manner because any error will result in failure. In my opinion, this attitude is very unhealthy and extremely detrimental for mental health. Of course, striving for excellence doesn’t imply that you are an unhealthy perfectionist. Nevertheless, my new awareness of the dangers of always trying to be perfect inspired me to share with you some reflections that can help us forget about perfection.

でも、私のセラピストが完璧主義に関する読み物をいくつかお勧めしてくれた後、私の考えは変わりました。完璧主義とは、「完璧さ」をもたらすものではなく、むしろ、たった一つの誤りが全てを台無しにしてしまうため、物事は完璧に行われるべきであると信じ込んでしまう性質のことです。私は、この考え方は不健全で、心の健康にとって良くない考え方だと思っています。もちろん、自分が優秀さを追求していたとしても、それが不健全な完璧主義者だと意味しているわけではありません。とはいうものの、常に「完璧さ」を求めることの危険性についての新しい気づきを得たので、私たちが完璧主義を忘れてしまえるような、いくつかのアイデアをみんなと共有します。

High standards are not always a source of motivation:

As I mentioned before, throughout my life I was taught by my family that only those who aspire to be the best and do their best will achieve good results. Since I was young I had convinced myself that there’s always a perfect way to carry out things (whether it concerned work, school, sport etc). Throughout elementary and middle school I was an average student, my performance was mediocre but not terrible. In high school, I began putting more effort and as I studied more my grades slowly went up. Every time I would get a good mark my professors and family members would acknowledge and encourage me. I started to enjoy feeling visible and because I loved that feeling so much I kept pushing myself to be better. At some point in my third year of high school I was the best student in my class, my classmates would often praise me asking me how I could achieve perfect grades. At first, I was flattered by their compliments but after some time I became unmoved by their remarks. Whenever they talked about me I felt like they were talking about someone else. In reality, I didn’t regard myself as perfect, quite the opposite I was always looking for a way to improve, never satisfied about what I was achieving.

高い目標が、いつもやる気をもたらしてくれるわけではない。

すでに述べたように、これまでの人生ずっと「最高を目指してベストを尽くした人だけが、良い結果を得ることができる」と家族から教えられてきました。若い頃から、いつも物事を完璧にやり遂げる方法があると信じ込んでいました(仕事でも、学校でも、スポーツでも、その他な