Some people may think that perfectionism is an advantage. Perfectionists prepare flawless projects and presentations, get the highest scores, are organized students and workers, and have perfect outfits with perfect makeup and hairstyles. But it all comes at a price. In order to “perfect” everything in your life, you end up sacrificing so much time and, sometimes even sleep and health.
Being a perfectionist doesn’t mean that you do things perfectly, but rather that you NEED them to be so, just as much as you need to breathe, eat, or sleep. It is essential for your very existence. Perfectionists have a vision for their life, in which every detail is relevant. But even though they might look perfect on the outside, there is a storm on the inside.
Their soul is restless trying to make everything “right”.
Because of their worrisome nature, here are some disadvantages they face:
1. Feeling anxious all the time
Perfectionists are always worried about how things will come at the end. They set high standards for themselves and things they do. It is not uncommon for them to sacrifice sleep or personal time to reach their goals. Perfectionists will even break their neck if it is needed. They also spend a lot of time visualizing how things should be and what can happen in the worst case. Although, what they imagine usually comes out differently, which stresses them out even more.
2. Wasting time for irrelevant things
Perfectionists often care about something that is not really essential. They might spend hours rewriting their notes, which look too messy for them. Or learning by heart all lectures in detail in case they miss something. Sometimes they even may focus at things that other people say they are not good at. As a result perfectionists stretch themselves thin instead of focusing on something that really matters for them.
3. Being scared to make a step
Having high standards, perfectionists are hard on themselves. They may think that they lack knowledge, skills or abilities to create something perfect. As a result they postpone their goals until they get to the “right” level of themselves to start moving, but the “right” moment sometimes does not happen at all. Some also get so paralyzed by fear of failure that they are not able to make a first step.
4. Not pursuing their dreams
Besides thinking they are not enough, perfectionists spend time playing “What if” game. The rules are imagining as many bad outcomes as possible. There is nothing more discouraging from succeeding than focusing at failure. Perfectionists also rarely make bold moves to pursue their dreams. They would rather focus on practicality than something they love doing if they are unsure about their success.
5. Nothing is ever enough
To-do list of perfectionists are always full of tasks left to do, and they have dozens of personal goals. You find them busy learning, working on projects or developing their skills all the time, but what they find difficult is to do nothing. They get anxious just relaxing the whole day without accomplishing at least half of their goals. Perfectionists are human DOINGS, not human BEINGS.
6. Setting high standards for other people
Perfectionists are hard on others in teamwork or even in relationships. They require others to do things in a specific manner. In teamwork, perfectionists distribute tasks, control progress of others and want everything several days before the deadline. They give limited freedom of actions to their team members, which makes them difficult to work with. In relationships they expect their lover, family or friends to be “perfect” too, from way they look and maintain themselves to their personal success.
Do you recognize yourself in any of these points? If so, you are a perfectionist. But just because you face disadvantages does not mean that you are at a disadvantage. As a perfectionist, you put out (and often achieve) high standards, do things thoroughly and are a high performer. But it is important to manage your perfectionism in ways that it does not take over your life.