Perfectionism and anxiety

Our modern society is obsessed with perfectionism - research shows a rise of the personality trait of 33% from 1989-2016 (in college students), and figures will only get worse.

What is perfectionism and how does it appear?

Perfectionism is a learned character trait, expressed in striving for flawlessness and setting high performance standards, accompanied by critical self-evaluations and concerns regarding others' evaluations.


This trait appears because we have forgotten who we are. We have confused who we are with what we do. We believe that who we are is the mind/body, and what we do is the physical activities of this mind/body. With such a core belief, the only way to be is to seek to become better, happier, have more material possessions, be liked by others, and other similar drives that take us away from what is here now. 


The Truth is, we are perfection itself. Who we are is infinite, eternal, and all-encompassing. But until we are knowingly ourself (beyond the ideas of who we are), we will strive to get to some kind of future perfection. This seeking is expressed by making the mind more intelligent, the body stronger and healthier, being promoted at work, having a bigger house, a better relationship etc.


The purpose of this article is not to condemn this behaviour - rather, it is to invite you to stop seeking. To think, feel, speak, and act out of Love, out of the ever-present Knowing of ourself, instead of out of the need to find future gratification. 

How to stop seeking?

Look for perfection where it can be found. By ‘stop seeking’, I mean being aware. Be aware of what is here now - thoughts, sensations, and perceptions. Turn back to Awareness itself:

  • Is there anything outside of it?
  • Is there anything to which Awareness says ‘no’?
  • Is there any way for Awareness to be more perfect - somehow larger, grander - than it already is? 

Identify as Awareness, and you are perfection itself. Once you recognise your True Self, slowly your entire experience becomes an expression of Truth. 


Be here now. Express what you want to express out of Love. Use your skills, intelligence, interests and hobbies as a means of articulation of this Truth. 


If we make the concession that you can become more perfect, the only way to do so would be to cease identifying with the mind/body, and as a result to automatically cease acting from a limited, temporary perspective. Know your Self as Awareness. Then - Now - all is perfect.