Do you really need to be perfect? The definitions of a perfectionist are flawless, faultless, extreme, obsessive, supreme, excellence, ideal standard, extremely high standards, doing something well.
It should be a virtue, but there’s a lot of pain and frustration associated with it. It can help you do your best or it can immobilize you. Perfectionism is a result of what we learned in childhood. Social pressure, personal pressure, having unrealistic role models such as perfectionist parents.
A competitive and workaholic society contributes to perfectionism. Having children learn more than what they are capable of learning contributes to perfectionism.
The advantages of being a perfectionist include:
* Appearing to be responsible to others.
* Appearing to do a better job than others.
* Good employees.
* Pay attention to detail.
* Take pride in doing something well.
* Have satisfaction in doing one’s best.
* Take pride in being prepared.
Negative characteristics of being a perfectionist include:
* Time and energy are misspent.
* They provide undue stress on themselves and others.
* They think whatever needs to be done, has to be done perfectly.
* They set up standards that are impossible to meet.
* Can be very good second guessers. They use phrases such as could have, should have, and would have.
* Distorted outlook on life.
* They will maximize their failures and minimize their successes.
* They can’t enjoy the moment. They immediately look for the next challenge.
* They dwell in the negative past.
* They put goals over health.
* They are all or nothing thinkers.
* They compare themselves to others.
* They may have eating disorders.
* They have a lot of unfinished projects.
* They are reluctant to try new things.
* They worry about what others think.
* They may be chronic worriers.
* They may have strong feelings of guilt.
* They may have strong feelings of frustration.
* They may experience unprovoked crying, have the blues, tiredness, headaches, writers block, test anxiety.
Interesting thoughts about perfectionism include:
* Understanding and acceptance helps utilize perfectionism.
* Perfectionism can make us feel that our lives are not under control.
* We hate to see the imperfections in others because it reminds us of our imperfections.
* A question to ask ourselves is: Is this realistic?
* Perfectionists are often disappointed in the quality of other people’s work.
* Perfectionists need to get in touch with their feelings.
* Sometimes perfectionists need to be perfect to get the approval of others.
* They set unrealistic goals.
* Perfectionism can cut down on the amount of friendships that you have.
* Perfectionists are not necessarily higher achievers.
* Self-esteem may be lower.
* Avoids being average.
* High percentages of perfectionists are first-born.
* High percentages of perfectionists have Type A personalities.
The truth is that people and things don’t have the ability to be perfect. Do you really need to be perfect? I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have.