We live in a society that values things that appear perfect. And I suppose there are things that can be considered perfect.
Some examples of things that are perfect can be found in nature: A shooting star; the sounds of nature; and a sunset.
But as human beings, we can never reach a state of perfection because we will always be a work in progress.
Perfection indicates finality – a finished product – but we as humans are always grousing and changing.
What is Perfectionism?
Many people view perfectionism as a positive attitude. They believe the more ‘perfect’ they are, the more success they will have in life.
Perfectionism is NOT the same as always doing your best.
It is important that we always do our best, by doing so, we can experience healthy achievements and growth. But perfectionism takes this concept to the extreme.
People with perfectionistic tendencies often have self-defeating thoughts and/or behaviors that actually make it HARDER to achieve their goals.
Perfectionism also can make the individual feel stress, anxiety, and depression.
Signs to Look for
Most human beings, from time to time, will strive for perfectionism in some aspect of their life. For example, wanting to find to ‘perfect’ gift for someone’s birthday. But there are those who are ‘full-time’ perfectionists. They strive for perfection in all aspects of their life.
Here are some signs you may be a perfectionist:
- You don’t like to attempt tasks or activities unless you feel you can complete them perfectly.
- You are end-oriented, meaning you focus little on the process of creating or learning something and put all of the emphasis on the outcome.
- You cannot see a task as having been completed unless it meets your perfectionist standards.
- You tend to procrastinate because you don’t like starting a task until you know you can perfectly complete it.
- You tend to take far longer completing tasks than others. This can be problematic at work.
Again, perfectionism is not the same this as doing your best. It is a condition whereby the individual is almost incapable of feeling joy or pride at what they accomplish because in their own minds, they are never quite good enough.
If you believe you may have traits of perfectionism and it is causing you stress, there are things you can do to change your behavior so you can live a healthier and happier life.
If you’d like to explore treatment options, please reach out to me.