Being a perfectionist isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it really depends on how much of a perfectionist you are. If you are too much of a perfectionist and set standards that are impossible to meet, then it can be self-destructive. In fact, new research published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology has reported that perfectionism can sabotage success at work as this leads to experiencing stress, burnout and other health-related problems.
According to psychologists, the root of the problem is found in the way a perfectionist structures his thoughts and as this determines whether he will experience the so called good or bad kind of perfectionism. The bad kind of perfectionism is considered to be catastrophic as you constantly worry about making mistakes or not matching up to the standards that you have set for yourself or others. It is also called the ‘dark side of perfectionism’ where people are constantly thinking – almost expecting – something bad will happen and as such hurting their own chances of success.
In this TEDx, Martin Antony, Director of the Anxiety Research and Treatment Lab at Ryerson University, goes further into analysing perfectionism and sheds some light on the less popular elements that underpin it. With the question, what can you do ‘when perfect is not good enough?’, Antony talks about the causes of perfectionism as well as strategies to help you overcome it.
Instead of striving for a perfect world that is impossible to achieve, Antony suggests that you ‘practice things imperfectly to become more comfortable with perfectionism’, exposing yourself to feared situations, preventing procrastination and setting priorities.
Are you a perfectionist? Do you think it is a bad thing? Have your say in the comments section below!