9 Signs You Might Be A Perfectionist
Once you accept the fact that you're not perfect, then you develop some confidence. ~Rosalynn Carter
Isn’t there a fine line between accepting yourself as you are, yet also committing to change for the betterment of the environment, animals, humanity and of course, yourself?
In trying to make ourselves better, some of us are stuck in a never-ending pursuit of perfection. It's not the desire to change that’s the problem, it’s over-doing it and obsessing about it.
All good changes can become harmful when taken to an extreme. There was a point in my life where I was obsessed with my daily yoga practice. If I had to miss a class, I’d beat myself up with guilt. I had entered an unhealthy territory, not to mention the fact that I'd missed the entire philosophy behind yoga.
Being perfect can replace any sense of fun with a nagging, soul-sucking endless effort that never gets anything quite right. We need to find the delicate balance between making positive changes and obsessing.
This is not saying that you shouldn’t strive for excellence! (We still need literary geniuses and Olympic athletes!) Perfectionism, on the other hand, is often associated with procrastination and a lack of self worth. You often won’t even start a task for worry that it won’t be done perfect.
Perfectionism directly fires up the big silent killer: Stress. And it's linked to: Depression, low self-esteem (projecting an image of yourself as a failure or loser), pessimism, obsessiveness, compulsiveness, guilt, belief that it’s never good enough, sleep disorders, strained relationships and mental health.
Signs you might be a perfectionist:
- You judge yourself harshly
- You judge others harshly
- You obsess over lifestyle commitments
- You get highly competitive with others
- You obsess about a mistake
- You feel an intense need to do something right or not at all
- You demand perfection from yourself and others
- You persist with a job or task beyond reason; when everyone else has long given up
- You're self conscious when making mistakes
When setting goals remember the following:
- You are only human
- Forgive yourself for your mistakes
- It's just a goal
- Develop patience
- Realize learning comes from making mistakes
- Reward yourself for progress
- Love yourself
- Recheck your priorities
My answer to the painful job interview question, “Please describe one major flaw” was always, “I’m a perfectionist.” It’s one of those character traits that could be construed as positive or negative. Maybe in my industry, the accounting world, it's construed as a good character flaw, but even within a numbers-based, logical set of standards, it’s an unachievable goal.
Stop grasping at perfectionism; it’s only driving yourself and everyone else mad!
Are you projecting unrealistic expectations on the objects of your grasping, being exercise, diet or work? If you can’t relax and have some fun, then why are you making all these changes in the first place?