It’s not uncommon to see individuals in all walks of life claiming to be perfectionism lovers. Such people are more humble braggers who try to convince others that their pursuit of excellence can, admittedly, be a tiny brag, but is also a badge of honor for them.
Due to the fact that excellence is a strong key to success, we see how the top names in sports, corporate world, and leaders from various industries have high expectations around them. Unfortunately, being a perfectionist restrains them from reaching their ultimate prime.
Below we discuss the 9 signs that show you’re a perfectionist, and how it’s doing harm than good:
1. You want perfection from everyone
Not only do perfectionists expect a flawless performance and actions from themselves, but they also expect it from everyone around or in their circle. By setting unrealistic expectations for others, perfectionists have almost negligible patience for those who fail to live up to their standards. This is a major reason why their relationships, either personally, professionally or socially, suffer due to their inappropriate demands.
2. You struggle to accomplish goals in a timely manner
Completing tasks in a timely manner is appreciated, but what separates perfectionists from the rest is that they struggle to get anything done. For example, they may write or review an email countless times or go through a sales pitch before finalizing, but still aren’t sure whether to send it or not. This is where their deliverables suffer due to the majority of time eaten up in performing tasks repeatedly and thinking they aren’t still good enough.
3. You consider mistakes as a proof that you’re incompetent
Perfectionists think that mistakes aren’t opportunities for learning. Rather, they feel that each mistake committed by them further cements the fact that they aren’t good enough. This makes them stay harsh and criticize themselves and even the most ignorable mistakes will leave them devastated.
4. You input a lot of effort into covering your shortcomings
One of the greatest fears consuming perfectionists is that they’ll be judged for their shortcomings and flaws. In order to get through that judgment, they want to maintain an appearance of perfection. Hence, they realize that mastering the art of displaying perfection, even when they are broken inside, is the best way to hide their incompetency and inconsistency.
“This is who I am. I’m not perfect. I don’t want to try to be perfect.” – Michael Strahan
5. You avoid encountering tasks that leave you vulnerable to failure
Perfectionists are more inclined to show off their existing skills, and not learn new ones. Rather than selecting tasks with a steep learning curve, they prefer tasks which are less challenging in nature and where success is almost certain. They rarely undertake projects that offer something new as they aren’t sure regarding the success or complexity factor involved in those tasks.
6. You don’t celebrate your success
No matter how much greater accomplishment is acquired, a perfectionist won’t celebrate his or her success. They won’t acknowledge their talent, but a stroke of luck that was responsible for success. You will hear them say some common things like, “I could’ve done better” or “The project would’ve been completed earlier had I been smarter and efficient.”
7. Your self-worth relies on your accomplishments
Perfectionists do feel good, especially when they achieve something really extraordinary or new in life. On the downside, a single or minor rejection can send them spiraling down due to the fact that they aren’t measuring up their life as they should be.
Furthermore, positive personality traits such as compassion, empathy, or humor aren’t something that perfectionists feel people around them will get impressed by.
8. Your journey towards perfection causes your mental stability to rot
Apparently, setting unrealistic expectations both in personal and professional life takes its toll on our mental health. Several researchers have concluded that perfectionists often suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety attacks, eating disorders, and fall victim to depression. Even worse, the thoughts of achieving perfectionism also leads to the development of suicidal tendencies in individuals.
9. You are never content with your life
The attached fear of failure in everything they lay their hands on keeps perfectionists from being satisfied with life and its blessings. Researchers state that perfectionists often fare well in less-stressed environments.
However, the greatest things in life never come free of their fair share of challenges. Therefore, everyday stress and frustrations leave them dissatisfied with countless things in their life.
“I’m not perfect; no one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. I think you try to learn from those mistakes.” – Derek Jeter
Is there a turn of events on the cards?
People who are bothered by the complex of perfectionism can slightly make a good start by realizing the presence and gravity of their situation. You need to understand that life is full of challenges and expectations, which at times are unrealistic and out of your control. It’s your duty to tackle them with an open and clear mind in order to make the best decision possible.
Although perfectionism hasn’t yet qualified to be designated as a mental health problem, individuals plagued by it can certainly consult a professional psychologist. The point is to pour out your fears and insecurities which will help the mental health professional to use them for your mental wellbeing.
As a conclusion, you should strive to get the best out of yourself, but expect hiccups along the way. This makes for a fantastic learning experience which benefits you throughout your years.
Are you a perfectionist? Do you think it affects your mental well-being? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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