The word “perfectionist” has such a bad connotation, doesn’t it? When you think of a perfectionist, you think of someone really uptight who lives in a perfectly clean house, with perfectly behaved kids, and ugh…it’s just disgusting.
You probably think that you’re the farthest thing possible from a perfectionist. Your house is a hot mess, you forget to do important things all the time, and your life is so far from perfect, it’s laughable.
I have news for you, my friend. Despite your messy life, you may be suffering from perfectionism and not even REALIZE it.
How do you Know if You’re a Perfectionist?
If most of these 10 questions ring true for you, you may be a perfectionist!
- You get very stressed about making decisions. Do you have a hard time making decisions? Are so scared of making the wrong decision that you procrastinate and try to avoid making the decision at all?
- You second guess your decisions. If you’re forced to make a decision, do you debate it for months (or even years) afterward, wondering if you made the right decision?
- You are very critical of your mistakes. If you make a mistake, big or small, do you re-hash it over and over again and become angry at yourself? Do you do everything in your power to make sure you don’t repeat the mistake?
- You spend too long working on projects. Does it take you much longer to complete projects than it takes others?
- You triple-check your work. Do you keep looking over your work again and again (more than twice), to make sure that there are absolutely no mistakes?
- You tend to procrastinate. Do you procrastinate because you don’t know how to do something exactly right? Or perhaps you procrastinate because you’re scared that you’ll fail or make a serious mistake?
- You are a people-pleaser. Do you try to make everyone happy and do everything in your power to make things as perfect as possible for them?
- You get upset when you don’t achieve “perfection.” Does it upset you if you don’t consider yourself to be the “perfect” Mom or the “perfect” employee? If you do something and it doesn’t come out perfectly (even something small, like making muffins), do you feel bad about yourself?
- You don’t like to delegate. Do you absolutely HATE asking others to do things for you? Does it make you nervous when you do ask for help? You get extra perfectionist points if you later re-do what you’ve delegated because it’s not “good enough.”
- You sacrifice your own health and happiness. Do you regularly put yourself last so you can be the “perfect” Mother, employee, friend, spouse, etc?
Although each item on its own may not be an indicator of perfectionism, if you said “yes” to most of the items on the list, you may want to do some introspection. Is it possible you’re a perfectionist and didn’t even realize it? How has it impacted your life, both positively and negatively?
Is it Bad to be a Perfectionist?
Like everything in life, although perfectionism has a bad rap, there are some real benefits to perfectionism.
If you’re a perfectionist, chances are that you do a REALLY good job at most things that you do. You are probably dependable and an amazing employee. Your work is top-notch and you’re proud of your accomplishments.
The downside, however, is that perfectionism can also be paralyzing. It’s actually rooted in fear. You may have a fear that you aren’t good enough. You may be afraid that if you’re not the “perfect” mother, your kids will suffer.
If you believe you may be a perfectionist, the most important thing is to be aware of this tendency. Perhaps the next time you check your report for the fifth time, you’ll giggle about it and let it go. Or maybe the next time you forget to buy your kid’s favorite snack, you’ll realize that it’s OK for your kids to know that you’re human and can forget things, too.
Stop beating yourself up, my friend. You are doing your best. And that is all anyone can ask of you.