Being a perfectionist won’t get you anywhere. If you want to succeed you need to let go of this annoying obsession. Here is why this habit isn’t good.
In an ideal word, everything is perfect. You have the perfect job, the most expensive car in the world and the best house on the beach. So really what’s there to worry about? Well, you worry because reality is different. Every day you are constantly trying to meet expectations, and it feels like you are in a race against yourself to get the best results possible. But, what happens when all of this gets too much? What happens when your perfectionism starts to feel like a burden?
Normally, striving for excellence and having high standards is a good thing, but this stops being the case when your expectations are more than you can manage - a perfectionist. A person who constantly strives for flawlessness, sets excessively high-performance standards and makes critical self-evaluations.
See Also: Is Perfectionism Bad for You?
As research shows, perfectionism has two sides; the positive side, which includes setting high standards for yourself and the negative side, such as having self-doubt and concerns over making small and simple mistakes. As Gordon Flett, a psychology professor at York University in Canada, said on LiveScience:
“It’s natural to be perfectionistic in the things that matters the most, like your job - if you’re a surgeon, there’s no room for error, [but] you don’t want that same person to be going home and using those same standards to evaluate family members which causes stress.”
If you constantly refuse to accept any standard short of perfection, it’s like you don’t allow yourself to be free and then your expectations become catastrophic to your career and other areas of your life. If you always want to get more of what you have, eventually this will backfire. This is why:
1. You Tend to Procrastinate
It’s not you; it’s your perfectionistic tendencies that stop you from completing work. When you are faced with a deadline, you are well aware of the fact that you need to get to work, but you end up procrastinating because you are afraid you won’t be able to prepare the ‘perfect’ report.
So you find excuses, create more difficulties in completing the task or even worse giving up. But, procrastination is only a temporary solution and makes your anxiety worse over time. If you want to be effective, set some priorities for yourself and finish what you said you will finish.
2. You Make Too Many To-Do Lists
To-Do lists are considered to be effective because they help you prioritise tasks and stay productive. But, when you end up creating too many and relying too much on them, it means that there is something that you are not doing right. As a perfectionist, you are more likely to have long, detailed and impossible To-Do lists to complete every day. So it can be easy for you to get lost in the sea of the ‘things to do’ and end up feeling overwhelmed. Since you don’t want that, make sure you keep these short and realistic.
3. You Don’t Take Enough Risks
A big problem with being a perfectionist is that it’s more likely to hold you back from new and exciting experiences. The fear of making a mistake and failing miserably doesn’t allow you to move forward. For example, you might abandon your true career aspirations, staying put in a job you hate and not taking risks. Perfectionism in this sense is paralyzing. It prevents you from taking the leap of faith and jumping into the unknown and challenging yourself which is essential to your development.
4. You Can’t Achieve Your Goals
One thing leads to another. Procrastinating might be excused when all you have to do is work on a university assignment, but not when you are working on something big like planning your own career. Having extraordinarily high standards and wanting to succeed in life is one thing, but actually making the effort to work towards your career goals is quite another. As an over-achiever most of the time you find that you can’t get anything done because you are too much of a perfectionistic to achieve any of your goals, and any it feels impossible. This alone can be catastrophic for your career.
Look for the following signs to see if you are a perfectionist, so you can do something about it if needs be:
- you leave no room for mistakes.
- you have extremely high standards.
- you are too hard on yourself.
- you constantly spot errors when others don’t see any.
- you follow an all-or-nothing approach and you either do everything well or don’t do anything at all.
See Also: 9 Signs You Are a Perfectionist
Are you a perfectionist? Can you tell if this is the good or bad side of perfectionism? Let me know in the comments section below…