Perfectionists refuse to accept any results short of perfection. These people are often high achievers. Just as often, they are not.
The urge to be perfect can be a huge disadvantage. Most perfectionists are anything but happy. When your standards are unreasonably high, you’re unlikely to have many moments in your life when you’re satisfied and content.
Perfectionists often admit that they are stressed, worried, and exhausted. It’s not easy trying to be perfect all of the time!
See how perfection and happiness don’t fit well together:
1. The need for perfection guarantees failure. The need for perfection is a losing game. Perfection can never be attained, so by choosing perfection, you’ve chosen to fail. Happiness is more challenging to achieve when you’re failing at everything you do.
2. Perfection creates anxiety. When you feel the need to be prefect, you’re bound to be anxious, too. There’s only one way to be perfect. Everything else is less than perfect. You worry all the time when perfection is the only acceptable result.
3. Perfection is the enemy of progress. Perfection gets in the way of making meaningful progress. Perfection is tedious and slow. When you aren’t making progress in your life, you’re not going to be happy.
4. Perfection forces you to use your time inappropriately. When you try to be perfect, you spend too much time on things that just don’t matter very much. There are plenty of things in life that require results far beneath perfection.
◦ Avoid spending the time to be perfect when it just doesn’t make any sense.
5. Perfectionists are more likely to procrastinate. Given that the drive for perfection creates anxiety and consumes a lot of time, perfectionists are more likely to procrastinate than the average person.
◦ It’s not easy to get started when you know that your results have to be perfect.
6. Studies have shown that perfectionism can lead to eating disorders. The desire to have a perfect body has been shown to be a contributing factor in eating disorders. Most people don’t have the right bone structure and other genetic factors to have the type of body seen on a magazine cover.
7. Perfectionists notice what’s wrong, rather than what’s right. Perfectionists only recognize what’s wrong. They pick up on everything that isn’t perfect. They rarely acknowledge what’s good. They notice the flaws. This is a hard way to live and certainly sacrifices happiness.
◦ Perfectionists quickly forget their successes and fixate on their failures, making them unhappy with their work, home life, and themselves.
8. It’s challenging to complete anything because there’s always something you could improve. Whether you’re working on a project for work or building a deck on your house, it’s a struggle to complete anything and move on. A perfectionist will always find a way to make it even better.
◦ Having a lot of unfinished tasks hanging over your head is stressful and dissatisfying.
9. Perfectionists expect others to have equally high standards. Perfectionists are hard to be around. They are often critical of others and consequently, are often lonely. They have relationship challenges. Loneliness and a lack of social support prohibit happiness.
It’s not easy being a perfectionist! While it’s important to give crucial tasks the necessary attention, spending too much time and attention on something is a waste of your time and mental energy.
Tame your tendencies that cause you to try to be perfect! These tendencies are blocking the happiness you deserve. Let some of the details go and experience a life you truly enjoy.