Signs You Might Be a Perfectionist

Signs You Might Be a Perfectionist

Perfectionism is frequently viewed as a positive trait that improves your chances of achieving success. However, it often leads to self-defeating thoughts and behaviors that make it more challenging to achieve your goals. It may also cause mental health issues, including stress, anxiety, and depression. Individuals who aim for perfection out of feelings of failure or inadequacy could find it helpful to speak with a qualified and knowledgeable clinical therapist to help them manage excessive self-criticism.

Perfectionism Defined

Perfectionism is being unwilling to settle for anything less than perfection and drives individuals to be or appear perfect. People sometimes use the phrase “healthy perfectionism” to describe perfectionistic behaviors. It is typically viewed as a positive trait rather than a flaw. However, to believe it’s even possible to achieve perfection is defective thinking.  

Perfectionism is not at all the same thing as striving to be or do your best. Indeed, perfection is not about healthy growth and achievement. Many individuals use perfectionism as a shield to protect them from the pain of shame, blame, or judgment.

Signs You Might Be a Perfectionist

The majority of individuals engage in perfectionism from time to time or in some areas of their lives. People who embrace perfectionism nearly all the time may feel the compulsive need to meet the same success they achieved in the past or achieve perfection continually. They might also:

  • Be unable to do a specific task unless they know they can perform it perfectly.
  • View the end result as the most substantial part of any undertaking. Consequently, they may focus less on the entire process of learning or finishing a task to the best of their ability. 
  • Not see a task as completed until the result is perfect, according to their own standards. 
  • Procrastinate and delay beginning a task until they are sure they can do it perfectly.
  • Take a substantial amount of time completing a task that typically takes others less time to complete. 

Perfectionistic Behavior

Most individuals want to be successful. However, working hard to achieve your goals does not always indicate perfectionistic behavior. Perfectionists usually believe that what they do is not worthwhile unless it is perfect. Instead of being proud and satisfied with their learning, hard work, or progress, they may continually fixate on achieving perfection or compare what they do to that of others.

Even when individuals with perfectionistic traits get the results they desire, they may still not be satisfied. They may think that if they were perfect, they would not have to put in so much effort to achieve their goals. Children who grow up being praised for their accomplishments continually may feel significant pressure to keep delivering the same standard of perfection as they learn and grow, which can lead to a pattern of lifelong perfectionistic behavior.

If you feel that perfectionism is contributing to your daily distress, a licensed clinical psychologist, wants to help you understand that perfectionistic habits and behaviors can be changed with counseling in Palatine, IL. Schedule an appointment to discuss overcoming perfectionism and learning how to adopt healthier attitudes.

Thanks to Lotus Wellness Center for their insight into counseling and signs you might be a perfectionist.