Is being called a perfectionist all it’s cracked up to be? If you’re a perfectionist, it means that you strive for perfection in everything you do. It’s never good enough to do your best; the outcome must be perfect — nothing less. It doesn’t matter whether you’re working on a simple project, raising your children, or searching for an answer, the end result can’t be just “good”; it must be flawless…impeccable…picture perfect. Period.
And there’s the rub. If you’re a perfectionist, you believe the ultimate standard must be achieved every time you do anything. It doesn’t matter whether your goal is large or small, essential or trivial, urgent or routine, you’ll go to the ends of the earth to surpass excellence. Is it worth it?
When you’re a perfectionist, your work is never done.
Are You a Perfectionist?
Question yourself on the following…think about how you:
Perform an activity. Are you uncomfortable saying “I’m finished” — because an activity can always be improved?
Manage relationships. Do you judge people on a regular basis and find fault in most of them?
Make an everyday purchase. Do you search forever when making a minor purchase? Do you read every product review and spend hours looking for the cheapest price?
Raise your kids. Do you compare your kids to others and then push your kids beyond their limits?
Seek advice. Do you ask everyone for advice just to ensure that you don’t miss anything?
Manage a project. Do you delegate responsibility and then micromanage people because you just can’t let things go?
Rate your performance. Do you hold yourself to an impossible standard and beat yourself up for minor mistakes?
You’d Be Perfect If You Weren’t a Perfectionist
Here are 10 reasons why being a perfectionist is far from perfect.
Low productivity. If you begin things, but never complete them, you accomplish nothing.
Get down on yourself. If you create unrealistic expectations of yourself, you’re likely to damage your confidence and self-image. In addition, no matter what you achieve, the feeling of satisfaction will be temporary because you’ll raise the bar again.
Loss of opportunity. If you adopt an attitude of “If I can’t do it perfectly, then I won’t even try,” you’ll let opportunities pass you by. In addition, if you take too much time achieving perfection, you’ll miss out to a faster competitor.
Hard to make decisions. If you overwhelm yourself with information, you may become indecisive.
Afraid to delegate. If you think you’re the only one who can do things right, you’ll probably end up doing everything yourself.
Invest more time than required. If you try to achieve perfection performing needless tasks, you’ll add needless stress and drive yourself crazy.
Create a money-losing proposition. If you spend unreasonable time and effort making things perfect, it may be impossible to recoup those costs from customers.
Demoralize others. If you’re highly critical of others, you’ll discourage them from spending time with you.
Short-sightedness. If you spend too much time meticulously reviewing details, you’ll end up missing the big picture.
Waste of time. If you spend an inordinate amount of time on stupid stuff, you won’t have time to devote to things that matter.
Strive for Excellence, Not Perfection
If you’re a perfectionist, you probably make everything into a competition — always pushing…never satisfied. Take a moment to consider whether that mindset is a net positive or a net negative in your life. What are the incremental benefits of choosing perfection over excellence? What do you lose in the process? Think about the toll that it’s taking on your life and whether the return is worth it to you.
If you believe the only way to obtain inner peace and tranquility is by making everything perfect on the outside, you may be sadly mistaken. When you constantly have to reprove your worth — even to yourself — you’re creating an impossible scenario in which the finish line is constantly moving. In conclusion, if you believe that excellence isn’t good enough, you may wake up one day and realize that your quest for perfection was anything but perfect.
Are You a Perfectionist?
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