I describe excellence as “skilled and filled” as in Exodus 31:1-5. In other words, living up to our potential. The pursuit of excellence includes learning to enjoy the process, which inevitably leads to the surprise outcomes along the way that perfectionism never allows to be enjoyed.
Perfectionism can be skilled but not always filled, something to beware of as describe in Deuteronomy 8. Skilled but not filled is self-reliance, or trusting oneself.
The goal of excellence allows us the freedom from judging each step. That's why James 1:5 implies we aren't expected to have perfect knowledge. We are given an open "Book" test without the reproach of being graded or judged.
Perfectionism does not lead to higher performance and greater happiness though it can bring some forms of success. Often perfectionism parades as excellence but it differs greatly by making everyone miserable in the process because the essential element of trust is missing. The perfectionist trusts no one but himself, criticizes everyone else, and is rarely trustworthy if things don't go his way.
Basically, the perfectionist is the control freak who is afraid to fail because he finds his value in his achievement only.
Even panic attacks are the result of perfectionist tendencies. The perfectionist always focuses on the flaws and mistakes, leaving them with more fatigue and less to show for it.
I've rarely met anyone that successfully pursues excellence by criticism. Whether from our own mind or from another's tongue, we usually give undue credit to the criticism we hear.
A challenge to excellence through encouragement, not criticism, is inspiring because it includes a living example by another that has the courage to encourage us. Criticism does the double harm of tearing someone down and leaving them without help to heal.