The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. Essentially, perfectionism is a form of this. If you are striving toward perfection (a state of being "entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings; accurate, exact, or correct in every detail", from dictionary.com), you will get the same result every single time: imperfection! This is insane! And you may even try to go about things differently, but if your expectation is perfection in a literal or objective sense, you will NEVER achieve it. Perfection actually doesn't exist because...
Perfection is not an objective or universal ideal or quality. With any quality, characteristic, skill, accomplishment, or experience, there will never be a universally agreed upon definition of what is perfect. What constitutes perfection is a personal opinion and a subjective perception. We all see the world and people very differently. We all have very different opinions about what is ideal, desirable, correct, or even flawless. Therefore, again, it does not exist.
PERFECTION IS SOMETHING WE FORM IN OUR OWN MINDS.
Perfectionism is something so many of us struggle with, in the sense that we often have unrealistic expectations. It is a false sense of control, combined with an experience in which we are set up to feel that nothing we do is ever good enough, and we as a person are never good enough.
The other really important thing to consider (which I have preached out previously), is that it can be a healthy and positive thing to want to improve ourselves. For, if we did indeed believe that we were "perfect" or that something we had accomplished was "perfect" then we would not see any reason to continue improving ourselves. The amazing thing about being a human is that we are imperfect and flawed, and that we have the opportunity to improve ourselves throughout our lives. Part if this is improving our ability to love and accept ourselves. When we accept that we are imperfect, we allow ourselves to grow. Be a wildflower. Be hardy in your ability to grow in unexpected and difficult places.
I will leave you with one final quote that sums up my beliefs about perfectionism, and emphasizes the value I place on self-awareness. Be good to yourself today and every day.
"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in." -Leonard Cohen