In my book ON CUE, Managing Anxiety, Inviting Excellence, two basic concepts are contrasted. One uses my coined concept "Excellest", and one is the commonly used, and commonly misused, concept, "Perfectionist".
A Perfectionist beats himself/herself up emotionally, demanding Perfection. Perfection, which is the absence of all error, does not exist in the universe, therefore the Perfectionist eventually ends up just emotionally beaten up. The field of psychology notes the correlation between Perfectionism and mood disorders. The pursuit of perfection places the performer in a no-win process, tied to an impossible goal. The emotional result is anxiety and depression.
In my pursuit of excellence, I recognized the need for a term that named and honored my pursuit, so I created and defined the term "Excellist". An "Excellest" seeks excellence and recognizes that error is present in performance.
The contrast is as follows:
The Perfectionist abuses herself/himself by demanding perfection, which does not exist. The Excellest loves himself/herself into excellence, which is everywhere to be discovered.
"One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection simply doesn't exist...without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist."