Perfectionism

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Perfectionism is setting your up for failure. Simply, because perfection in and of itself can not be met. The implication of perfection is a cycle of continuous searching and never truly finding.

I can remember when I was an early writer and would need the perfect pen, jus the right note pad or book. Nothing was ever good enough and I realized I felt busy was actually wasn’t accomplishing anything. The busy I felt was the searching and obviously that didn’t get me fare in my desired objective.

Dr. David Burns, an adjunct professor in the Department of Psychiatry and BehavioralSciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine, puts it this way: “Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person.”

Perfectionism also causes depression. Depending on the individual it can be mild or server. The constant feeling of unmet goals is very dissatisfying and lowers ones self-esteems and self-confidence.

Here are some signs:

You have a difficult time accepting being “second best” in any endeavor, even those you aren’t really interested in. You are highly competitive and can’t stand to lose…at anything.

You might avoid any activities or tasks when you know you won’t be the best, for example, suppose you are a great basketball player but only mediocre at baseball. You refuse to play baseball, even in a casual environment, because you aren’t the best on the team.

You would rather give up on a task than not do it perfectly. If you get to a meeting late, you don’t go in. If you don’t think your report is perfect, you don’t bother handing it in. If you can’t do it perfectly, you don’t bother wasting your time trying.

You sacrifice your own well being to make something perfect. You might skip eating or sleeping so you can continue to work on a project because it isn’t perfect yet.

You believe that there is a “right” and “wrong” way to do most things. You don’t see that there might be several different ways to achieve the same end.

You don’t accept in-betweens. Everything is either perfect or it is a failure. You don’t believe that anything can be “okay.” If you have not achieved perfection, you have failed. There are no grey areas in your life, only black and white.

You are highly critical of mistakes. You might be extremely detail oriented, because not only must the final project be correct but every detail along the way must be perfect as well. You notice any mistake or error, whether you made it or someone else did.

You obsess about previous mistakes, mulling over what you did and did not do correctly. You worry that you did not do enough or did something wrong.

You become defensive if anyone points out any errors or makes any criticisms about your work because it implies that you were not or are not perfect.

You are a “people pleaser.” You want everyone to think highly of you and be happy with what you have accomplished or done. You become stressed if someone is not pleased with your work.

You are judgmental and critical of others. You want perfection not only in what you do but in everything around you. You quickly criticize any errors made by those around you.

You have a difficult time emotionally connecting with other people. Because you have an intense need to be accepted and a great fear of rejection, you might find it easier to not connect and therefore not risk rejection.

The project is never done and an always be better, so you continue working on it and it never really get finished.

You find it very difficult if other people see you make a mistake.

You think asking for help is a sign of weakness.

You have a need to be in control. If working on a group project, you automatically take the lead and decide what tasks everyone else will complete. You take on extra work to make sure it is done right. You believe in “if you want it done right, do it yourself.” You have a difficult time working in a group if you are not in control.

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