Are you a perfectionist? - Part I8, July, 2014, by Seema Bhatnagar
Do you feel over stressed and anxious most of the times while working on an important piece of work, spending copious amount of time for completing any work, beat yourself up for making errors? Do you believe that anything lesser than a perfect is a failure for you? You yell or get angry over others for not doing up to the mark job. If you felt like answering as "Yes" to these, then you are living a life of a perfectionist.
Who is perfectionist?
Perfectionist is an individual who sets high and unrealistic standards and ideals to achieve - on not meeting these or anything lesser, means a personal failure. Such individuals are persistently thinking self-defeating thoughts - their self-esteem is based on how others accept them and how much praise they receive from others.
Here are some 12 telltale signs of a perfectionist.
- Black-and-white thinking
- Overly self-critical
- Over attentive to details.
- Success means perfection
- Critical of others
- Always thinking of results
- Fear of failure
- Overly defensive of criticism
- Easily offended
- Lack openness.
- Expecting praise from others.
Believe in setting and meeting unrealistic goals and standards for self, failing to achieve these means complete personal failure. There is no grey or middle area, either perfection or a failure, are the two ends of a scale.
Relentlessly self-critical for making trivial or insignificant mistakes. Even a minor mistake is a sign of personal inadequacy and failure.
Spending plenty of time and taking extra care for minute, irrelevant and insignificant details. For example, instead of focusing on contents of a document, spending plenty of time in making sure there is no spelling mistake, size and color of the fonts are meeting perfect standards. Overly attentive to details to avoid any criticism from others.
Success means achieving personal envisioned goals without compromising over standards and ideals, doesn't matter how hard it is to achieve.
Not only critical of self but also of others for not setting high enough standards. It is all right for them to put down others for not achieving high enough standards. They find it tough to look at things from others' perspective.
Always focused on end results to avoid any kind of failure and rejection from others. It is important for them to achieve goal at any cost than to face failure.
There is always a fear of failure because failure is equivalent to rejection by others.
It is difficult for them to stand any criticism because criticism means failure of personal standards and ideals.
Suffer with perfectionist paralysis. It is really paradoxical that perfectionist suffers with procrastination. Yes, it is true - in the rush of meeting personal standards and until arriving at a perfect state they will not start any task and will land up in perfection paralysis state.
Consider every little comment or feedback as a personal attack and take offence over comments which are not even remotely related to them.
There is a constant underneath fear of rejection by others on knowing about personal shortcomings, due to this they never open up themselves with others. In fact, they derive pleasure in somebody's failure because it gives them a temporary relief from personal distress.
There is a deep and constant craving for praise from others. It works as a continuous fuel to have more unrealistic goals.
If you find some of the above mentioned signs in you - by all odds, you are living a life of a perfectionist. You might think, it is something to feel proud of, on the contrary you should take some remedial steps to come out of this habit.