When we think of perfectionists, we often think of those people who are so strict with themselves and others that it becomes a self-defeating personality trait. We conjure up images of the type of person who has to have everything in order, all the time. The type of person is so focused on achieving the goals that they never allow for any mistakes or setbacks which inevitably lead to feeling like a failure.
This article will show you how being a perfectionist can be detrimental to your success and happiness as well as give you 10 reasons why you should not strive for perfectionism.
Perfectionism can lead to depression and anxiety
Perfectionists often find themselves depressed and anxious because they are never satisfied with their accomplishments. The fear of failure causes the perfectionist to always have an excuse for why something isn’t good enough which leaves them stuck in a vicious cycle of feeling inadequate, not being happy with themselves, and being afraid of what others think.
The idea of being a perfectionist seems great. But in reality, it can lead to so many negative consequences that can be debilitating and sometimes even fatal. The perfectionist needs to realize that there is no such thing as achieving perfection which will free them from their self-made misery of always failing to meet their impossible expectations.
Perfectionism creates a “tyranny of expectations”
The need to meet unattainable goals becomes a tyrant in the mind of a perfectionist. Perfectionist is usually very hard on themselves and can sometimes be even harder on their family and friends by demanding that they live up to such high standards as well.
The best way to combat this tyranny is to talk about your thoughts with someone you trust, whether it be a family member or close friend who will remind you that not everything has to be achieving an ideal state, but rather with just simply existing day-to-day despite your shortcomings and mistakes.
Perfectionism stunts resilience and creativity
The need to meet unattainable goals stunts creativity by focusing on the result rather than enjoying the process of getting there. Perfectionist cannot enjoy their creative pursuits because they are focused on reaching an unrealistic goal which leaves no time for improvisation or spontaneity.
Resilience is stunted in perfectionists because it becomes difficult to deal with rejection or failure. Perfectionists often fear that they will never achieve their goals if they fail at any point during the process so they play it safe and do not pursue some of their more creative ideas which could lead them to success.
Perfectionism is often linked with procrastination
Allowing for errors allows us to work through mistakes and fix them making the end product better. Perfectionist won’t allow themselves to make mistakes which often lead to procrastination because they don’t feel like their idea is perfect enough.
Perfectionists often put off beginning a project until they feel that it’s “perfect” which means that many of their projects never get started. This can be extremely detrimental to their success because they are spending all of their time thinking about the project rather than doing anything.
Perfectionism is not achievable in most cases
Perfectionists tend to set excessively high standards for themselves and others, which results in feelings of self-defeat when they fail to meet their high expectations. Perfectionists often set unrealistic and unattainable goals for themselves and give up when they don’t meet them which means that many of their projects never get done at all because they become discouraged by the project.
This type of behavior is also seen when perfectionism is forced on others such as children, teammates, or employees because the perfectionist may become critical and demanding of those around them. This can be especially detrimental to creative processes as people will often lose interest in something that is being criticized rather than nurtured into success.
Perfectionism breeds self-criticism
The fear of failure makes it difficult to talk about one’s accomplishments for fear that they will be deemed not good enough. Perfectionist always doubts their work because they are constantly putting themselves down which leads them to be their own worst critic.
This can also lead to self-sabotaging behavior where perfectionist will purposefully not do their best on a project because they don’t want to be judged. This also makes it difficult for perfectionists to become successful in anything because their fear of failure paralyzes them from taking chances and risks leaving them with nothing to show for themselves.
Perfectionism is exhausting
Perfectionists often lose sight of the big picture and become completely focused on achieving their goals which makes them more susceptible to burn-out. The perfectionist’s self-imposed standards are unrealistic because they don’t account for the time it takes to complete a project or task.
This can lead to an inability to relax, poor social skills, and burn-out. Perfectionist fears failure so much that they become overwhelmed with the fear of making mistakes which exhausts them both mentally and physically to the point where they aren’t capable of doing anything anymore.
Perfectionism can lead to eating disorders
People who struggle with perfectionism often develop eating disorders in an attempt to control their bodies rather than their life. The fear of fat leads the perfectionist to develop an eating disorder, especially surrounding being overweight.
Perfectionists often see food as “good” or “bad”, and if they consume something they deem as bad then they feel like they’ve failed in some way which can lead them to have a negative relationship with food. The fear of being judged can also lead the perfectionist to not eat at all which then leads them to have an eating disorder.
Perfectionism keeps you from enjoying life
Perfectionism can be so constricting and exhausting that the perfectionist often isn’t able to enjoy their life. They become so focused on obtaining this idea of perfection and doing everything perfectly that they lose touch with what makes them happy because it’s not “perfect”.
This means that perfectionist misses out on opportunities to have fun, be creative, and be innovative because they are so afraid to make mistakes that they don’t even try. This fear of failure keeps them stuck in an isolated life where they aren’t even able to be themselves.
Successful people aren’t perfect
Many people who seem to be “perfect” and have everything together actually struggle with perfectionism and often present a façade that makes them seem like they don’t make mistakes. The idea of perfection is what keeps many people from doing things they love or getting involved in anything because they fear failure so much.
This creates a culture of comparison where the people who are leading this movement of perfectionism are making everyone else feel like they need to be perfect as well which is completely inaccurate. Many successful people can achieve success because they don’t let their fear get in the way. They allow themselves room for failure because it’s necessary to grow.
Perfectionism is a toxic way of thinking which can lead to anxiety, isolation, and depression for the perfectionist. They often feel inadequate in their lives because they are so afraid of doing something wrong that they don’t do much at all. Perfectionists put themselves down constantly rather than accepting themselves as they are which creates low self-esteem and self-hatred. It’s important to be aware of your shortcomings and limitations which then will allow you to embrace them and work around or through them.
It’s okay to make mistakes, it doesn’t mean that you’re failing, and your success will never depend on how perfect you seem. What matters is that you enjoy life, do things to the best of your ability which means you try, and that you know how to be a graceful winner and loser. There’s no need to feel bad about yourself because everyone has their flaws – even if they don’t seem like it.