In my younger years, I strived for perfectionism. Everything in my life, both work and personal had to be perfect. I worked long hours, cleaned my home before the cleaning lady came, did my hair perfectly before going to the hairdresser….the list goes on and on.
Why do people feel they have to do things perfectly? Judgement mostly. Judgement comes from 3 sides….the perfectionist judging themselves feeling nothing is being done good enough, the perfectionist thinking that no one can do something as well as they can, and “thinking” there is judgement from others that everything has to be perfect. This puts so much pressure and stress on the perfectionist they can’t keep up with themselves.
Another challenge is procrastination can set in. Because the perfectionist has to do things so perfectly, quite often they delay getting a task started, because they don’t have all the answers and haven’t got it perfectly planned out in their mind, they keep delaying getting started.
People that are close to someone that is a perfectionist very often feel inadequate. This person feels like they couldn’t possibly do things as well as the perfectionist, even though they are fully capable. This can also affect families because the perfectionist often criticizes everything other’s do believing it isn’t as good as they could do themselves.
People may express their perceived inadequacy to the perfectionist. They very often feel that they wouldn’t want to do the task the perfectionist is so good at because they can’t do it as well. Doing things at the perfectionist level is not maintainable long-term…. I remember many years ago speaking to some junior people in a company I was working with. I was encouraging them to move forward in their career and follow the path I had taken. They said they would never want to do what I did because it was too much work. This was a huge wakeup for me. The perfectionist is actually robbing people of living into their potential by the over the top example they are setting.
Perfectionism is exhausting, stressful, and comes from the insecure mindset…..a belief that nothing is good enough and everyone is judging them. A better alternative instead, is to strive for excellence. Accept that it is ok not to be perfect. It is freeing! Letting go of perfectionism and striving instead for excellence will positively change every aspect of your life.
- You’re Not Perfect! Get Over It and Get Things Done! (insatiablesolopreneur.com)
- Perfectionist or High Performer? Which Are You? (slaw.ca)