How Perfectionism Is Sabotaging Your Success
When I hear people say, “I’m a perfectionist!” as if that’s an achievement. I really hope they simply mean they pay attention to details because perfectionism is a highly destructive personality trait. Especially for entrepreneurs.
It damages lives, ruins relationships, and eventually destroys businesses. Perfectionism is always more destructive than constructive. True perfectionism is unobtainable because the universe doesn’t allow for it, time and time again.
In essence, perfectionism is not part of an excellent work ethic. It’s actually an attempt to control everything so that nothing may harm the individual.
A coping mechanism.
Ask yourself the following questions. Do they apply to you?
- Do you have polarized thinking? In polarized thinking, anything that’s not perfect is terrible. Anything that’s not an unqualified success is a failure. Anything less than a 100% on a test is as bad as failing.
- If something you do or create, even something you say isn’t 100% right, do you discount the rest of it as worthless or even embarrassing?
- Do you look at everything regarding winning or losing, a victory or defeat?
- You have trouble meeting deadlines because you can’t stop tweaking projects?
- Do you endlessly revise work?
- Does your self-worth depend on the outcome of the work you do or the “flawlessness” of your endeavors?
- Do you obsess over errors to the exclusion of every else?
- Do you attach your feelings of worthiness to how much people praise your work?
- Does the feeling of accomplishment you get after a big success fade quickly?
- Do you procrastinate starting work?
Outcomes Of Perfectionism
Perfectionism does bring some successes, but it does so at a terribly high price. Perfectionists never know contentment. They’re difficult to be within relationships as they extend their perfectionism onto their partners. Perfectionism leads to:
Here are just a few of the problems rigid perfectionism leads to:
- Constant feelings of discontentment
- Fluctuating feelings of worthiness
- Anxiety, depression, or panic disorders.
- Dissatisfaction in relationships
- Physical issues like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which is heavily affected by anxiety. Muscle tension and soreness is common for perfectionists, as is high blood pressure.
The most challenging part of overcoming perfectionism is admitting it’s a problem. Typically, perfectionists think it is other people and the rest of the world that are the problem. It sometimes takes the loss of a valuable relationship or the onset of depression before a perfectionist starts to understand that they are really the owner of the issue. So, once a person gets past admitting they have a problem, we follow these steps for improvement.
- Fine-tune your standards for success, not perfection. A perfectionist has to become familiar with what’s acceptable for success. Your mile-high standards are actually getting in the way of your successes. Are your exacting standards worth the cost regarding time, negative emotions and adding new members to the already long list of people who can’t stand dealing with your expectations?
- Relaxing your sky-high standards, a tiny bit. Did the world end? No. No doubt you felt strange by not fretting, but like all bad habits, perfectionism gets easier to give up the longer you abstain from it.
- Challenge your perfectionist mindset. Are your beliefs about how things should be done rationally? Ask yourself how is it that other people are successful without being perfectionists. Consider how you can do that too.