When someone is labeled a perfectionist, many people assume it’s a good thing. After all, if someone strives for perfection and their work ethic matches the result, how can that be bad?
The problem is, we live in an imperfect world and perfection is difficult (and sometimes impossible) to come by. A high-achiever will thrive and always push for the best in this environment. A perfectionist, on the other hand, can become manic, obsessive, depressed, and easily defeated.
Are you a perfectionist? Keep reading for six traits that point towards perfectionism.
1. You Are Motivated By Fear
One of the defining qualities of a perfectionist is that they’re motivated by fear. This does not refer to practical fear people have, such as working hard to avoid going bankrupt. The perfectionist personality is afraid of never being good enough.
Every task or project they take on requires manic work to ensure they aren’t somehow falling below unattainable standards. If this sounds like you, you might have a perfectionism disorder.
2. You Are Hyper-Critical of Yourself and Others
Perfectionists can also suffer from low self-esteem. Even though others see their work and their results as impressive, a perfectionist is hypercritical of themselves. Even when they achieve something others might see as perfect, a perfectionist will always find something wrong.
Unfortunately, this can extend to judging other people. If this is happening in your life, you need to get control of your habits before they ruin your relationships. Check out this article on how to challenge your perfectionism
3. You Will Procrastinate Jobs You Know Will Be Difficult
For perfectionists, some tasks can seem so daunting that they can’t bring themselves to get started. The problem is that they are so afraid of doing a less-than-perfect job that they’ll end up procrastinating until it’s too late. This leads back to the fear of underperforming.
4. It Sometimes Feels Better to Abandon a Project Than to Finish It Imperfectly
In many cases, perfectionism leads to unfinished projects. A perfectionist will often abandon something rather than finish it imperfectly. They would rather throw away hours of work than complete a project that doesn’t measure up to their standards.
Though there’s nothing wrong with having high standards, starting and quitting projects is incredibly inefficient.
5. You Set Unrealistic Goals
Another characteristic of a perfectionist personality is setting unrealistic goals. A common example can be found in the fitness world.
Fitness enthusiasts get an idea of what they want to look like in their head, but no matter how close they get to that goal, it’s never good enough. Bodybuilders always want to be bigger, runners always want to be faster, powerlifters always want to be stronger, and so on.
There’s nothing wrong with striving for constant improvement. However, when it becomes obsessive or manic, you may have a problem. Learn how to set realistic goals and standards for yourself.
6. You’re Easily Demoralized by Unmet Standards
Finally, perfectionists tend to be more vulnerable to depression than simple high-achievers. A high-achiever will fail at a goal they’ve set for themselves, be upset, then move on.
A perfectionist will let an unmet standard consume their life. They will define themselves based on their accomplishments and failed accomplishments.
Are You a Perfectionist?
There’s nothing wrong with being a high-achiever. Being a hard worker with high standards is a good thing. Just don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of becoming a perfectionist, which can lead to crippling habits.
If you’re looking for more tips and advice about life, health, or business, check out some of our other articles before you go. Our website is full of helpful information for people like you.