Perfectionism it may not sound so bad at first, right? However, being perfectionist on constant basis can be actually self-destructive. What is perfectionism? It is a personal trait which includes very high standards. Perfectionist doesn’t like flaws, everything should be perfect and making mistakes is unacceptable. It is striving for excellence on unrealistic level.
At some point, a little piece of perfectionism is absolutely fine, it gives you motivation and desire to achieve more. However, if it goes out of the control, you start losing reality and perceive yourself or your surroundings from the wrong perspective. Don’t get me wrong, if you have high goals, if you have a lot of work to do to reach the top of the mountain, it is okay however, having the sense of reality is pretty much important.
Too much perfectionism will reveal itself sooner or later and as the result, you will end up being depressive and lose the desire to achieve your goals.
I used to be perfectionist myself, which was a little too much. That time I obviously didn’t realize it, however looking back now, I know, it was so wrong and it stopped me from achieving my goals. If I made a small mistake, I thought I failed completely. If I didn’t like small thing about myself, I thought everything was wrong. If I tried to achieve something and I failed at some small thing, or I missed one day, I would give up on it completely. I felt devastated and thought that I am not good enough because I make mistakes.
I wanted to be perfect at every single thing. If someone told me that it is okay not to be perfect, I always said that there is nothing wrong with wanting to be perfect because I believed that someday I would be perfect and that would make me happy. And guess what? I realized I can’t be perfect and that what can make me kind of perfect, is accepting the fact that we all have flaws, we all have ups and downs.
It is really hard to notice that you are being perfectionist. But if you abuse yourself for making small mistakes and if you give up everything because of one imperfection, you are on the wrong way.
Without further ado, I would like to tell you how you can recognize perfectionism
There is nothing wrong with being self-critical once in a while however, too much self-criticism is the sign of perfectionism. You set yourself unrealistic standards and do not accept yourself the way you are. You expect yourself to be perfect in every single thing and you end up being too self-critical.
- Low self-esteem
Even though perfectionism may give you a feeling that you will have high self-esteem, in reality it is contrary. Too much self-criticism puts you in the trap and you end up having very low self-esteem. Your critical nature will exhaust you to the point of unhappiness and prevent you from actually loving yourself.
- Seeing mistakes as failure
If you made a mistake, congratulations, you are a human. However, for perfectionist it will be the worst thing that could ever happen. Perfectionism doesn’t let you to be self-aware and you lose the sense of reality. As a result, you forget the fact, that making mistakes is okay. You can actually learn more from mistakes, not from doing everything right. Focusing on mistakes too much will make you unhappy and you will forget what you were striving for. It does feel bad when you make a mistake and doesn’t mean you need to be happy about it, however it doesn’t mean you should give up because of it.
When you are perfectionist you strive to achieve everything without mistakes. As a result, you may find yourself procrastinating a lot. Having fear that you fail, you end up avoiding specific situations or responsibilities which may last for months. I had that situation many times, when I had better job opportunities and even though I felt so not sure about myself I would still go for it and looking back I would realize that all the time I was avoiding that situation was just waste of my own time.
- Not handling feedback
I know it is not so easy to listen to someone criticizing you and I do agree, it also depends how you are being criticized. However very often, perfectionists can’t stand any type of healthy criticism and feedback. It makes them feel very awkward and uncomfortable because it goes against the law of being perfect. Any feedback may be taken too personally which is not a healthy attitude.
- All or nothing attitude
If you think it is always either one way or another than you are thinking wrong. Perfectionists often avoid the word “sometimes”. It is either only good, or only bad. But what if sometimes it is like this or like that? I strongly believe that life is full of surprises and limiting yourself with extremes is not the right way of thinking. Being open-minded is very important and you should not limit yourself with perfectionism. The healthy way of thinking will give you better results in achieving your life goals. If you are on diet and missed one day, doesn’t mean you should quit everything, right?
A little bit of perfectionism is okay however nothing is good when it is too much. Once you become aware it will easier to control whether you are going too far. Perfectionism can stop you from having quality life and relationships and hold you back in many things. If you are striving to get better perfectionism is definitely not the right way because you make you lose the sense of reality and you lose self-awareness. If you find yourself being perfectionist, it is okay, recognizing it is already the start and once you know what is the issue you are more flexible to act accordingly.