Trying to be perfect is an act of self-sabotage and an effective way to lower one's self-esteem. I chose the quotes that spoke most strongly to my own efforts to keep from fallling into the quicksand of perfectionism.
Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing. --Harriet Braiker
Nothing that is complete breathes. --Antonio Porchia
Perfectionism is the enemy of creation. --John Updike
A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault. --John Henry Newman
The true perfection of man lies not in what man has, but in what man is. --Oscar Wilde
The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection. --Michelangelo
Ring the bells that still can ring|
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything,
That's how the light gets in.
One of the most essential things you need to do for yourself is to choose a goal that is important to you. Perfection does not exist; you can always do better and you can always grow.
Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them with your hands. But like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you will reach your destiny. --Carl Schurz
Gold cannot be pure, and people cannot be perfect. --Chinese Proverb
Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without. --Confucius
The most difficult part of attaining perfection is finding something to do for an encore.
When you aim for perfection, you discover it's a moving target. --George Fisher
Once you accept the fact that you're not perfect, then you develop some confidence.
Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work. --Aristotle
There are no perfect men in this world, only perfect intentions. --Pen Densham
The imperfections of a man, his frailties, his faults, are just as important as his virtues. You can't separate them. They're wedded. --Henry Miller
The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself. --Anna Quindlen
Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make you a far happier and more productive person. --Dr. David M. Burns
I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God's business. --Michael J. Fox
If a man should happen to reach perfection in this world, he would have to die immediately to enjoy himself. --Josh Billings
Always live up to your standards - by lowering them, if necessary. --Mignon McLaughlin
Unless I accept my faults I will most certainly doubt my virtues. --Hugh Prather
Striving to better, oft we mar what's well. --William Shakespeare
Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. --Dr. David M. Burns
Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it. --Salvador Dali
Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything.
All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection. So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible. --William Faulkner
A good garden may have some weeds. --Thomas Fuller
I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself. --Mikhail Baryshnikov
I cling to my imperfection, as the very essence of my being. --Anatole France
You see, when weaving a blanket, an Indian woman leaves a flaw in the weaving of that blanket to let the soul out. --Martha Graham
When nobody around you seems to measure up, it's time to check your yardstick. --Bill Lemley
Try as hard as we may for perfection, the net result of our labors is an amazing variety of imperfectness. We are surprised at our own versatility in being able to fail in so many different ways. --Samuel McChord Crothers
The bottom line is that (a) people are never perfect, but love can be, (b) that is the one and only way that the mediocre and vile can be transformed, and (c) doing that makes it that. We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love. --Tom Robbins
No good work whatever can be perfect, and the demand for perfection is always a sign of a misunderstanding of the ends of art. --John Ruskin
There is no worse sickness for the soul, o you who are proud, than this pretense of perfection.
-- Mevlana Rumi